1876年，印地安人依舊佔據在美國廣闊的大西部地區，各部族間的戰事持續著，無法可管的淘金城鎮已經在這片地景之上冒出了頭。兩個古生物學家爭論達爾文稱為演化的異端理論，兩個人在這片狂野的西部搶奪恐龍化石，彼此欺騙與蓄意的破壞，轉變成所謂的恐龍骨戰爭(The Bone Wars)。
擁有特權多於理性的耶魯學生William Johnson踏進了這片艱險之地，為了贏過打賭的對手，他加入了世界知名的古生物學家Othniel Charles Marsh最新發起的探險團隊，不料Marsh卻誤以為William是他的宿敵Edwin Drinker Cope派來的奸細，便將William拋在懷俄明州一個惡行集結之處。
Michael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel ─ a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.
The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. Against this backdrop two paleontologists pillage the Wild West for dinosaur fossils, while deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.
Into this treacherous territory plunges William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition. But Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, and abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice.
Soon William joins forces with Cope and stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions. The struggle to protect this extraordinary treasure, however, will test William’s newfound resilience and pit him against some of the West’s most dangerous and notorious characters…