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The Rope (Anna Pigeon #17)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  6,082 Ratings  ·  817 Reviews
Anna Pigeon's first case—this is the story her fans have been clamoring for...this is where it all starts. In The Rope, the latest in Nevada Barr’s bestselling novels featuring Anna Pigeon, Nevada Barr gathers together the many strings of Anna’s past and finally reveals the story that her many fans have been long asking for. In 1995 and 35 years old, fresh off the bus from ...more
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Minotaur Books
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Community Reviews

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Feb 17, 2012 Jody rated it it was amazing
Okay, so awhile back, I swore off Nevada Barr because of her dark edginess yada yada (feel free to look up my previous review). HowEVER...when I heard she had written a prequel, I HAD to read it because Anna Pigeon and I are Ranger Sisters, practically, and I HAD to know how it all started. Besides, I don't remember the first Anna Pigeon books being quite that edgy, so the part of me that has the ability to make excuses and justify going back on my own word unwisely thought that the prequel coul ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is a fun mystery taking us back to 1995, when Anna Pigeon took her first job with the National Park Service. It's a prequel, so you need not have read any of the other books in the series before reading this one. If you're a long-time Anna Pigeon fan, you'll enjoy seeing her as a rookie. She's new to the outdoor life and not yet in law enforcement.

Recently widowed and drowning in despair, Anna takes an entry-level job at Lake Powell. As yet she has no wilderness savvy. On her day off she h
Mar 08, 2012 Kevintipple rated it did not like it
As Lee Child recently did with his latest in the “Reacher series” titled The Affair: A Jack Reacher Novel author Nevada Barr takes readers back in time in this prequel to her Anna Pigeon series. The year is 1995 as The Rope: An Anna Pigeon Novel opens and Anna is thirty-five and adrift in a sea of mourning regarding the recent death of her husband Zach. She is a specter in black amongst the living and has barely connected with any of her fellow workers at the Glen Canyon Recreational Area except ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Harry rated it really liked it
I must say that I'm in love with Anna Pigeon at all phases of her life. I met a tiny little red headed and freckle faced park ranger in the Tetons after she pulled me over for speeding. I called her Miss Pigeon. She was a bit miffed until I told her about the Barr novels. Then she forgave the speeding and went on her way.

The rope should have been titled "Dangling Rope" as that is where Anna's post New York "intellectual" and therefore, pubescent career began. I suppose there may have been a cop
Feb 03, 2012 Deb rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012-books-read
I was really disappointed in this "prequel" to the Anna Pigeon series. Anna's husband Zach has been killed so Anna takes a job as a seasonal park employee at Dangling Rope, a park on Lake Powell. As the book opens Anna is just regaining consciousness and is discovering that she is being held prisoner at the bottom of a "solution hole" - a natural vertical cave. How did she get there? Who is trying to kill her? Why? Since this takes place before all the other books, you know from the get-go that ...more
Carolyn F.
I've always meant to eventually read this series but other more pressing books keep jumping the queue. I'm so glad my book club put this book as one to read because at first I thought they'd lost their mind - who starts at series at book 16! Well this is a prequel to the whole series so that makes sense now.

I've heard that Anna Pigeon is supposed to be a super stoic hard ass, now I know why. I can't imagine after all she's been through in this book that she would want to stay around but then aga
Lisa Vegan
Jul 29, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all readers who read this series, even if they’ve read only book 1 Track of the Cat
I didn’t think I’d like that this was a prequel, but I ended up really enjoying it. I liked learning about Anna’s life in NYC before she started her stints as a ranger in the national park system and learning why she decided to become a law enforcement national park ranger.

The story was deliciously scary, a bit too scary for me, but not by a lot, especially because it was a prequel so I knew Anna would survive. I did worry endlessly about another character though. Not saying here whether or not
#2016-aty-reading challenge--week 25: A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you. (park ranger)

I've enjoyed the Anna Pigeon mystery series for years; each one is set in a different national park which is fascinating. In the 17th book, Nevada Barr takes a step back and shows us how it all began. Anna has been a widow for five years and has decided to leave her job as stage manager in NYC and try a summer job as a seasonal park ranger in Glen Canyon, Arizona. Right from the
Aug 17, 2011 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I eagerly anticipated reading about Anna's first park, her introduction to her readers (and to herself) regarding being a ranger. I was not disappointed in this prequel.
I found the insights into Anna's emotions and her motivation to get away from NYC and from people to be a stark picture of her grief touched upon in later books. The references to Anna's theater background were illuminating; she was a fully rounded person before she became a ranger with 'city-girl' experiences and naivete regard
Jul 14, 2012 Gwyn rated it did not like it
I did not like this book. Toward the end I was still listening to find out who the "bad guy" was but after a while, I just didn't care anymore and felt it was a waste of my time. I have enjoyed the Anna Pigeon character in previous books, but this book was not enjoyable for me. Too much time was given to what was going on inside the characters heads. I got so tired of everything being compared to the theater life Anna had previously. The sky couldn't just be blue - it had to be the blue of the s ...more
Lisa Carter
Feb 06, 2012 Lisa Carter rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
Finally . . . a Anna Pigeon suspense novel that's not completely dark and gruesome. This novel is a prequel that in storyworld predates all the other Anna books and explains a lot of her emotional baggage.

Still, what a relief from the last few. And while I love suspense and adventure, 13 1/2 and Burn had such a darkness of soul about them—my soul felt unclean after reading them. Some of the explicit, graphic parts about children made me nauseous.

As a former resident of New Orleans I noticed the
Dec 19, 2014 Lobstergirl rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Amina Greer

Barr's terrible writing continues. You want to buy her a sack of pronouns. You want to devise a drinking game for every time the words bones, muscles, and skull are put into service.

Not confident enough in her own scene writing, Barr makes constant references to other novels. "My life is a Stephen King novel," Anna tells us. "Maybe she'd get lucky, like the girl kept in the stone pit in the basement in Silence of the Lambs..." "Like the writers of Old Yeller or The Yearling, had the fates given
Aug 13, 2013 Dlora rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this prequel to the Anna Pigeon Park Ranger series. She is newly widowed, barely existing emotionally, and takes a part time job as a temp park employee to get away from her old haunts. She's put on "poop patrol" at Lake Powell. Decidedly unglamorous, but here she discovers the wonder and beauty of nature that leads to her choice to become a full time park ranger: "The dam and the lake did everything a good piece of art should: provoked, evoked, inspired, incensed, amazed." S ...more
Jul 06, 2012 Lighthearted rated it really liked it
For 16 books, readers have known Anna Pigeon as a courageous and resourceful Park Ranger with a bit of a loner streak and a tendency to drown her sorrows in alcohol. Before Anna entered the Park Service, however, she was a happily married Stage Manager in New York City. In The Rope, Barr takes us back to the very beginning of Anna's new life away from the hustle & bustle of the big city. Grieving the death of her husband Zack and needing to escape the city they shared together, Anna takes a ...more
Jul 23, 2013 L rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This prequel to the Anna Pigeon series rocks, no pun intended.I came away from this one with a better sense of Anna as a physical being than ever before. She is one small, tough woman! The story begins with Anna trapped in what turns out to be a solution hole. She is alone, confused, and trapped, but not helpless, never helpless. Though she has virtually no experience in the parks and certainly none in law enforcement, Anna is resilient and resourceful, good at getting out of seemingly impossibl ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Jaylia3 rated it really liked it
Anna Pigeon, young and raw, in this series prequel

Almost twenty years after Track of the Cat, the first Anna Pigeon mystery, we have the prequel, the missing link filling in the story of Anna’s transformation from New York Theater type to national park ranger. In The Rope Anna is just a seasonal employee whose job it is to clean boat-dumped human waste off the shores of Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. It’s only a few months following her husband Zach’s death and she’s stil
I've read most, if not all, of Nevada Barr's series starring Anna Pigeon.I like the fast pace of Barr's novels, and I think she does a great job with suspense. What always keeps me from loving her books is the excrutiating detail she goes into describing the natural surroundings. No matter how much detail she goes into, I'm never able to picture the place. I'd like to skim over it, but am always afraid some small detail may be pivotal to the climax. So I read it and feel bad about myself and I n ...more
Mark Stevens
Apr 08, 2012 Mark Stevens rated it really liked it
Anna Pigeon’s first case? That’s how “The Rope” is billed. Nevada Barr holds Anna back. She is forced to restrain Anna, to show her first taste of getting on a killer’s trail.

In the first big chunk of “The Rope,” Anna finds herself stuck in a hole—a “solution” hole—near a remote marina on Lake Powell. The remote marina is called Dangling Rope. It’s a real place (been there many times) but Barr adds lots of actual dangling ropes to the plot and the climax finishes with, yes, a rope and a cliff.
Jul 30, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
A satisfying prequel to the series of 16 mysteries featuring National Park Service Ranger Anna Pigeon (a new delight for me with only one under my belt). With this tale, we get Anna at age 35 escaping New York City and the tragic loss of her husband by assuming a temporary park ranger position at Lake Mead in Arizona. As revealed on book jacket, she hikes in the Glen Canyon Park on her day off and disappears. While her co-workers assume she left permanently, she finds herself imprisoned at the b ...more
Feb 17, 2017 Sue rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I just don't understand the appeal. I have now read three in the Anna Pigeon series because of a recommendation by a friend. The stories are so improbable, the main character so unlikable and the physical maladies she amazingly overcomes so impossible that I cannot imagine reading another.

The character Angela Lansbury played on the television show, Murder She Wrote was always solving murder mysteries in the small town of Cabot's Cove Maine. I frequently thought that if I lived there, I would
Chris Wolak
Aug 26, 2011 Chris Wolak rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who love the great outdoors and mystyery novels with strong female leads.
Shelves: mystery-thriller
The Rope is Nevada Barr's 17th Anna Pigeon mystery. It's a prequel that goes back to 1995 when Anna Pigeon was first hired by the National Park Service as a seasonal worker. She's 35 and fresh from New York City, still numb from the shock of her husband Zack's death (he was hit by a cab). Zack was an actor and Anna a stage manager. She loved her husband and loved her job and had to get away from it all.

Anna finds herself working as a seasonal in the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area cleani
Nancy Brandwein
Apr 15, 2013 Nancy Brandwein rated it did not like it
Another really disappointing mystery. A good friend is hooked on these Anna Pigeon mysteries, so I took this one on a trip. It's one of those that go back to the protaganist's beginnings, one the author wrote way after completing over a dozen of these mysteries, all set in national parks. I had never been introduced to the character, and I found her prickly and annoying. She has come to be a seasonal parks dept employee in Glen Canyon, Utah after being a stage manager in New York City, and I won ...more
Kristin Lundgren
May 18, 2012 Kristin Lundgren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I used to love Nevada Barr, and read all of her books, and when I went out of my mystery phase, I kept picking up books, so I could restart where I left off. So there are several recent ones I haven't read. But since this was a prequel, I felt safe in reading it. I thought it harkened back to some of my favorites, like Firestorm and A Superior Death. Like those, I was there, at Glen Canyon. Not just looking over the author's shoulder, but there - in the desert heat, in the cold waters of the lak ...more
Rebecca Martin
Jan 29, 2012 Rebecca Martin rated it liked it
I have kept up with this series over many years now and I look forward to each new entry. This book takes Anna Pigeon's fans back in time to show how she ended up becoming a ranger in the National Park Service after the death of her husband. The exploration of her psychological state--her numbness to life and emotion after the accidental death of her young husband--is sensitive and of great interest to those of us who have seen the stronger character that Pigeon becomes as the series continues. ...more
Cheryl Landmark
Sep 18, 2012 Cheryl Landmark rated it really liked it
I love Anna Pigeon, even though she can seem abrasive, cold and aloof at times. She's a small person, whom you might think is too fragile and weak for the hardy, dangerous life of a National Parks law enforcement agent. But, she's strong, determined, independent and tough-as-nails despite her appearance, and, therefore, my ideal female protagonist.

I really enjoyed this foray into Anna's life before she became the aforementioned law enforcement officer. In this book, the prequel to all the others
Dec 05, 2011 Jerry rated it really liked it
We’re long-time fans of Nevada Barr, having read her entire booklist. We were sorely disappointed with her last two outings: the 16th Anna Pigeon story, “Burn”, and her non-series “thriller” – “13” – as both were dark and disagreeable tales full of sordid crime, objectionable language, and the like, hardly representative of the bulk of Barr’s work. So we were more than a little relieved to find “The Rope” an enjoyable and suspenseful reflection of the usually entertaining Pigeon novels. Interest ...more
Dec 02, 2015 Adan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first adventure of park ranger Anna Pigeon.

Anna Pigeon, reeling from her husband's tragic death, flees New York City for a seasonal job in the American Southwest. Halfway into her job she wakes up in a hole deep underground with no memory of what happened. Even worse, she has no idea that she's the target of an psychopathic killer.

I was excited to be able to read a mystery set in the American Southwest (Tony Hillermanm, you're next). I find the setting refreshing because when we think "murde
Wes Metz
Feb 14, 2012 Wes Metz rated it really liked it
I have read a number of Nevada Barr's books about Anna Pigeon, Park ranger, and enjoyed them. This one may be the best so far; it flashes back to Anna's summer at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, before she became a ranger. It takes Anna through more thrills, chills, and life-threatening events than any normal person would experience in a lifetime, but that's the nature of mystery thrillers. Did I figure out the villain before the end? Yes, but not much before. Barr does a good job of plan ...more
Steven Howes
May 21, 2012 Steven Howes rated it really liked it
Although this book is the latest in the author's "Anna Pidgeon" series, it is written as a "prequel" and explains the events that led up to Anna becoming a law enforcement officer for the National Park Service. Nevada Barr has written a number of Anna Pidgeon novels in which the main character solves mysteries set in various locations managed by the NPS around the US. Each book also focuses on a specific topic such as fire, endangered species, poaching, etc. I have read several of them and they ...more
Dec 12, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
My first reaction is that you might want to try canyon climbing after reading this book! I have enjoyed the Anna Pigeon character in several of the Nevada Barr books so I liked the idea of reading a "prequel" to fill us in on the details of Anna's foray into national park work. Well, wow!

This book is like an intricate Survivor episode as Anna withstands many physical and mental challenges. I found my own adrenaline pumping while reading many of the scenes!

I have always liked these books, also,
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Nevada Barr is a mystery fiction author, known for her "Anna Pigeon" series of mysteries, set in National Parks in the United States. Barr has won an Agatha Award for best first novel for Track of the Cat.

Barr was named after the state of her birth. She grew up in Johnstonville, California. She finished college at the University of California, Irvine. Originally, Barr started to pursue a career in
More about Nevada Barr...

Other Books in the Series

Anna Pigeon (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1)
  • A Superior Death (Anna Pigeon, #2)
  • Ill Wind (Anna Pigeon, #3)
  • Firestorm (Anna Pigeon, #4)
  • Endangered Species (Anna Pigeon, #5)
  • Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon, #6)
  • Liberty Falling (Anna Pigeon, #7)
  • Deep South (Anna Pigeon, #8)
  • Blood Lure (Anna Pigeon, #9)
  • Hunting Season (Anna Pigeon, #10)

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“you use your whole body like you did when you played as a kid. Grown-up amusements don’t allow for crawling and wriggling, getting good and muddy, and tearing the knees of your pants.” 3 likes
“Part of her soul ... gloried in the sheer bodacious unnaturalness of it. Putting a great blue-green water park smack down in the red desert complete with cactus, trading posts, genuine Navajo Indians, and five kinds of rattlesnakes was theater of the absurd at its most outrageous.” 1 likes
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