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Blind Descent
Nevada Barr
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Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon #6)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  6,948 Ratings  ·  399 Reviews
Park ranger Anna Pigeon is enjoying the open spaces of Colorado when she receives an urgent call. A young woman has been injured while exploring a cave in New Mexico's Carlsbad Cavern Park. Before she can be pulled to safety, she sends for her friend Anna. Only one problem: a crushing fear of confined spaces has kept Anna out in the open her whole life.

Published January 1st 2002 by Bausch & Lombard (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 11, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
So as someone who is claustrophobic, I found this book utterly terrifying since the majority of the book consisted of various caving expeditions deep underground. The author's descriptions were amazing though, and really made the cave come to life, and i could almost feel like i was there scrambling through the mud, walking through the aragonite crystal forest, or wriggling through the wormhole-like tunnels. As the caving expedition started in the book, I began thinking that perhaps caving was s ...more
Sep 29, 2015 Choko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Anna is as depressing and as crazy as always. Nature dominates the scene 70% of the time and once again murder is attempted and committed due to environmental reasons... There is this really disturbing way in which a friend of hers dies.... Yea, I will not forget it, especially when climbing... Good book for this series.
May 06, 2014 Ellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blind Descent was the first mystery I've read in the Anna Pigeon series by Nevada Barr. I had to read it-it takes place in the Carlsbad Caverns of New Mexico.

It took me a little while to get used to Barr's writing style but once I got it, I found the story as gripping as a roller-coaster ride. I feel like I have actually been spelunking (exploring caves). Good thing-since after reading this, I will undoubtedly never try the real thing. Or probably even visit Carlsbad.

Yeah, that scary.

And, also
Welwyn Katz
Sep 13, 2010 Welwyn Katz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was an amazing mystery. The writing is so lyrical, the mystery so satisfying, and the terrifying aspects so real and frightening that I couldn't go to sleep without finishing it. The setting is a huge new cavern system near the Carlsbad cave in Colorado, and one of ranger Anna Pigeon's best friends has been injured in it. The place is vastly deep underground, through holes so tightand twisting, they are called by the cavers things like "The Wormhole". Anna is claustrophobic; always has been ...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Brilliant, scary, thrilling, all good. Only problem was that in solving the mystery, Anna considers all the possible people and omits one. Someone had to get word out that there was someone injured inside. The people that enter were not there before so they were not the ones that come out. (She makes it clear that no radio can get out through these caves.) So the perpetrator could have left the cave never to be seen again. BIG omission, imho, but other than that, this is her best novel to date.
Probably my favorite of the series so far ... even with the discomfort brought on by her excellent descriptions of claustrophobic feelings. I'm done with caves. Have visited the Mark Twain Cave a few times and one in eastern Tennessee. ( I forget the name). They are beautiful, but I have no desire to venture into one again.
May 11, 2016 A.M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent book in this series involving Anna Pigeon, a park ranger for the National Park Service. Barr's books are so compelling - and her settings so intriguing - that I find myself spending at least an hour or two researching the various parks on the web and YouTube.

Blind Descent takes place in Lechuguilla Cave, part of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. Even if you don't read the book, do yourself a favor and research this cave on the web; it is famous for its unusual
Oct 30, 2014 Sherry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I rarely give more than three stars to mysteries. But I did here because Barr managed to take me to a place I would never have gone on my own. The idea of crawling into a teensy space in the dark with no real knowledge of what is on the other side makes me breathless with anxiety. Dark caves, lightless spaces, the danger of getting stuck and dying of starvation, endless climbing up and down, whew, just writing about it gives me the heeby-jeebies. Anna Pigeon did all that and solved a mystery, to ...more
Nov 06, 2014 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sixth Anna Pigeon mystery, though the first I have read. I read it as a southwestern mystery, though it is really better described as a “National Parks” mystery. Probably the best aspect of the book, which I enjoyed, was the very detailed descriptions of the Carlsbad Caverns, the adjoining Lechuguilla cave and the surrounding countryside. But in addition to great environmental description, the author gives us an unusual death and an unusual motive. Well worth reading.
The story revolves aroun
Jan 25, 2016 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anna Pigeon, a ranger with the National Park Service in Colorado, finds herself called in to assist in the rescue of an injured cave explorer in New Mexico's Carlsbad Cavern. The “caver” is an old friend of Anna's who specifically requested she is part of the rescue team. Although reticent at first, since she has little caving experience, Anna feels obligated to help her old friend. After a rather slow start, as the reader becomes initiated into the minutia of cave exploration, the story picks u ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I love the Anna Pigeon mysteries, but I had hard time with this because I spent so much time feeling claustrophobic! I'm not a claustrophobe in most situations, but caves and underground make me feel trapped, as there's only one way out. I guess this says something for her writing, that she was able to make it real enough to bother me.
Good story, anyway.
Jul 29, 2012 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good whodunit. The description of being in the caves left me feeling a little claustrophobic and anxious at times. And for those of you who have experienced "Camp Keast" you also relive the utter fear of sensory deprivation and disorientation. You definitely feel the respect and love the author has for the National parks.
Mar 17, 2016 Lynne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whodunits
Small Anna. Smart Anna. Clever Anna. Anna the Caver.

Lechuguilla is an incredible cave with formations that are unsullied by human thoughtlessness. Ms. Barr makes the cave as important a character as any of the people, and we wind up understanding why cavers care so deeply (no pun intended!) about this unique and fragile natural world.

The plot was excellent, as ever. Anna was brilliant, as usual. The writing was well done, as we've come to expect.

Read this one, but first watch one of the video
Ellen Thielen
Jun 17, 2013 Ellen Thielen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i'm not sure that this author can write a bad story! Absolutely nailed the claustrophobia felt underground that cavers disregard...The main character is only more likable for doing things that scare the crap out of her...
John Mosman
Aug 20, 2016 John Mosman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My wife and I toured Mammoth Cave in Kentucky this summer so reading Anna's adventures at Carlsbad and the Lechuguilla Cave was great timing. During our tour the lights are turned off for a minute and the absence of any light is amazing. Being lost in a cave without a light source as for a character in the book would be daunting.

Anna solves another murder mystery in her usual fashion which is upsetting everyone by her doggedness until the mystery is solved. Even after solving this crime she is
Mar 10, 2016 Brucie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Totally superb thriller. Exceptionally interesting writing, sympathetic characters, intriguing who-done-it, wonderful scenery. My favorite Anna Pigeon story and a Top Ten of all novels I have read.
Val Sanford
Growing up, and still as a grown up, visiting National Parks was almost a ritual. If one was nearby, we were going. I thank my parent's for our trip to Carlsbad Caverns. Throughout this book I could see the underground scenery and smell the sulphuric air, and the bat droppings.

I can't quite put down an Anna Pigeon mystery. It is almost a compulsion to devour them. In Blind Descent, Anna once again pushes her body and her mind to the breaking point to uncover corruption, treachery, murder, and d
Jun 28, 2014 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love rock climbing and caving. This book bring both together and adds a thrilling mystery to the mix. Basic story line, Anna is called to go on a caving rescue because the victim is a friend and is asking for her. Anna hates caves and is claustrophobic, but she knuckles down for a friend and heads out. Her friend dies, and Anna begins to suspect murder. She digs deeper into everyone involved and manages to offend many people on her quest for the truth. She even manages to fall off the wagon an ...more
Jackie Jameson
I guess it was ok, but I won't remember reading it a month from now. No, make that a week. Writing was good, heroine human and like able, ending so so. Just nothing altogether to make me search out other books in the (of course) series. Can't anybody write just ONE good book anymore without stringing you along for god knows how many more? I have 3 books given to me by my sister now but I lack the FIRST book in the series. I'm too OCD to start at book number 3. (Hey, I rhymed!) To me, it'd be lik ...more
Bill Currie
Jun 16, 2015 Bill Currie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nevada Barr has excellent descriptive imagery of landforms and lifeforms. However her detailed telling of Anna Pigeon's observations within the cave was marvelous reading. Her every movement, what she saw, the placement of her body, arms and legs, manoeuvring through the obstacles of repelling and ascending at times which seemed impossible. A thrilling ride of adrenaline and suspense. My only compliant is Anna is always the heroine but always being reprimanded even though she solves murders, cro ...more
Oct 13, 2015 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time reading this book, I am claustrophobic and it was terrifying! I love Anna's character, even though she was also claustrophobic she went down in a cave to rescue her friend Frieda, who had been injured in a climbing accident. When she finally reaches Frieda, she finds out the accident may not have been an accident after all. On the way out of the cave, another "accident" occurs and they almost get stuck in the cave. Once they get out, Anna begins to nose around and discovers som ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caves, caving and claustrophobia were the focus of the book. I found that the technical details of climbing to overwhelm the story. I wanted more mystery, less of the details of the horrors of being claustrophobic. I knew why the murders happened relatively early and hoped I was wrong because it was too easy to solve. The risks taken by Anna were in character given previous books, but felt forced and false. I wouldn't particularly recommend this book unless you want to read all of the books in t ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very well-written story. The descriptions of Lechuguilla cave and the darkness and cramped quarters definitely made my claustrophobic self squirm, which was aided by the fact that it was mostly read in the dark on a road trip. So intense were the descriptions that breaks were needed from the story to lessen the feeling of claustrophobia, even though the action begged continue. Vivid descriptions, gripping storyline, and the amazing setting of an underground world make this a great rea ...more
Jul 06, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as mysteries go, this book (and likely this series) was actually really fun for someone like me. Aside from a web of suspicious characters, secrets, and ulterior motives, there is a decent amount to be learned about natural history, the national parks, and in this book caving. The heroine Anna is a park ranger, and describing the environmental setting is a big part of the atmosphere. The fact that the book was largely set in a cave (I liked that a cave map was included) lent a rather uniq ...more
Sep 21, 2013 Shireen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2013
Anna Pigeon is always beaten up so much, one would think she'd be permanently concussed, bruised, and broken. But she's made in the style of 1970s' male TV action heroes: gets a lickin and keeps on bouncing back up, albeit limping.

I like this series for its sticking to one viewpoint, not bouncing around between villain and heroine, which I find takes me right out of the story. I also like the slightly anti-social heroine, and the way she sets about solving a mystery or two. And I particularly li
Sue Jackson
Oct 15, 2010 Sue Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I discovered book groups and broadened my reading horizons, I read almost exclusively mysteries and suspense novels. I don't often read these mass market thrillers any more, but I do still enjoy a Nevada Barr book once in awhile. Her unique twist? All of her novels are set in National Parks and her main character, Anna Pigeon, is a park ranger. As an avid outdoors person and frequent visitor to National Parks, I really enjoy these books.

Blind Descent was somewhat unique, even within Barr'
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 08, 2011 chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anna-pigeon
Early in this sixth tale in Barr's evocative and suspenseful series (after 1997's Endangered Species), national park ranger Anna Pigeon is summoned from duty in Colorado to New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns. A woman caver seriously injured while exploring the nearby Lechuguilla cave is a friend who has asked specifically that Anna help in her rescue. Anna has faced everything from forest fires to deep-water dives with equanimity, but claustrophobia has so far kept her above-ground. "A chilling image ...more
Oct 01, 2010 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with all the other books in the series, I really enjoyed this book. However, I think most of my enjoyment came from the series as a whole rather than just this book. There are 16 books so far and I have read a handful of them...and not in order either. Most of the books I've read are the more recent issues. Blind Decent is #6. At first I was annoyed because Anna Pigeon (the main character) did things that she would not normally do. A small example is sit her rump down in the dirt. She would r ...more
Mar 08, 2013 C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Within the first chapter this book gave me the creeps. I'm a bit on the claustrophobic side, and the idea of squeezing my way through rock makes me consider cavers completely crazy. I don't think I can do hysterical panic for fun.

I CAN do vicarious hysterical panic, though, so I loved the travel in and through the cave, all the nooks and crannies. She fictionalizes the route they took in and out for the story's sake, but landmarks are obviously based on reality and (seem) recognizable by descrip
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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)
  • Liberty Falling (Anna Pigeon, #7)
  • Deep South (Anna Pigeon, #8)
  • Blood Lure (Anna Pigeon, #9)
  • Hunting Season (Anna Pigeon, #10)
  • Flashback (Anna Pigeon, #11)

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