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The Paleontologist: A Novel (Paperback)

The Paleontologist: A Novel By Luke Dumas Cover Image
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A haunted paleontologist returns to the museum where his sister was abducted years earlier and is faced with a terrifying and murderous spirit in this chilling novel.

Curator of paleontology Dr. Simon Nealy never expected to return to his Pennsylvania hometown, let alone the Hawthorne Museum of Natural History. He was just a boy when his six-year-old sister, Morgan, was abducted from the museum under his watch, and the guilt has haunted Simon ever since. After a recent breakup and the death of the aunt who raised him, Simon feels drawn back to the place where Morgan vanished, in search of the bones they never found.

But from the moment he arrives, things aren’t what he expected. The Hawthorne is a crumbling ruin, still closed amid the ongoing pandemic, and plummeting toward financial catastrophe. Worse, Simon begins seeing and hearing things he can’t explain. Strange animal sounds. Bloody footprints that no living creature could have left. A prehistoric killer looming in the shadows of the museum. Terrified he’s losing his grasp on reality, Simon turns to the handwritten research diaries of his predecessor and uncovers a blood-soaked mystery 150 million years in the making that could be the answer to everything.

About the Author

Luke Dumas is the author of the novel A History of Fear. His nonfiction has appeared in Literary Hub, Hobart, Last Exit, Panorama: The Journal of Travel, Place, and Nature, and more. He received his master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh and is a graduate of the University of Chicago. 

Praise For…

"A delicious and intense psychological thriller with just enough supernatural to have horror overtones. If "Night at the Museum" meets The Shining with a heavy Jurassic Park influence has an appeal, then this is the book for you. Be prepared for surprises the whole way."—Barnes and Noble, Monthly Pick

"Well-rendered characters and an original premise once again distinguish Dumas’s unnerving second thriller...Fans of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Relic will relish this suspenseful and moving page-turner."—Publishers Weekly

“Attention, please, Blumhouse: here’s your next blockbuster. The Paleontologist is Night at the Museum as reimagined by Michael Crichton and Stephen King—an extravagantly fun creature-feature, a shivery haunted-house chiller, and an unexpectedly moving meditation on grief. Luke Dumas’s uncommonly intelligent novels—evocative and provocative enough for the book-club set, sufficiently scary (and then some) for those who like to keep their pulses hard at work—thrill me and move me and thrill me some more.”—A. J. Finn, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Praise for A History of Fear

"A methodical story about evil—its mystery and its toll—takes its murderous narrator past the brink of sanity. . . . Lean and propulsive, this dissection of evil marches forward with a deadly logic and sleight of hand, with occasional gaps filled in by an enterprising journalist and a Scottish information commissioner. The key is that we feel for Grayson as he leads us up to the brink of his terrible deed. The characters surrounding him, from his ghoulish family to his annoying roommate to his eventual victim, come to life on the page, all part of Grayson’s living nightmare. . . . It’s a patient pursuit and a patient book, one that builds without the reader quite realizing it. It blurs the line between mental illness and something less definable, more supernatural and sinister. A muscular, enigmatic, and devilishly smart read." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“[A] stellar debut, a complex whydunit . . . . Admirers of Andrew Pyper’s The Demonologist will be riveted.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Open A History of Fear at your own risk, because it will consume you and your time until you have turned the final page—and even then, the world Luke Dumas exposes will take up residence in your mind, rent free, though perhaps not consequence-free.”—Kristopher Zgorski, BOLO Books

"A delicious walk along the razor's edge between the imagined and the supernatural, A History of Fear is candy for readers who like their thrills real and their horror a worrying whisper in their head." —Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist and The Residence

A History of Fear presents itself as a disquieting cache of nightmares, a nested doll narrative that reads like a found-footage Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg. Readers, beware: this novel is not safe and will have you questioning what's real for many sleepless nights to come.” —Clay McLeod Chapman, author of The Remaking, Whisper Down the Lane, and Ghost Eaters

"A History of Fear succeeds on so many levels—as a haunting tale of the supernatural, a harrowing story of suspense, and a stark warning about the power of our inner demons. I consumed this book breathlessly, and every time I think of its jaw-dropping ending, I feel a chill all over again." —Megan Collins, author of The Family Plot

"A History of Fear is a disorienting, creepy, paranoia-inducing reimagining of the devil-made-me-do-it tale. A clever, twisty novel, imbued with emotional and psychological insight. Luke's vision of Old Scratch left me thrilled and looking over my shoulder." —Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World and The Pallbearers Club

“A History of Fear deftly plays with perception and will have you questioning what is real and what horrors we are capable of. A modern-day Gothic tale with claws, it latches into you and doesn’t let go.” —Jennifer Fawcett, author of Beneath the Stairs
Product Details
ISBN: 9781668018262
ISBN-10: 1668018268
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: October 31st, 2023
Pages: 368
Language: English