Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon, #6)
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Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon #6)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  5,302 ratings  ·  308 reviews
Lechuguilla Cavern is a man-eating cave discovered in New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the mid-1980s. Estimated to extend for more than three hundred miles, only ninety of them mapped, the cave was formed by acid burning away the limestone; corridors, pits, cramped wormholes, cliffs, and splendid rooms the size of football fields tangle together in a maze shr...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Avon Books (first published 1998)
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Katie
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
Ellie
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...more
Welwyn Katz
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
Sue Jackson
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'...more
Kelly 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.
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.
Kevin
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.
Ellen Thielen
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...
Stephen
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
Chris
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
Shireen
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...more
Lorraine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
chris
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
Dawn
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
C
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...more
Maddy
Trained teams of park rangers respond to catastrophes ranging from weather emergencies to presidential visits. In this book, Anna Pigeon is assigned to a team that is attempting to rescue an injured “caver” who has broken her leg down in the Lechuguilla, a relatively uncharted cave near New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns. The injured woman is Frieda Dierkz, the dispatcher from Mesa Verde and a friend of Anna’s. It is felt that Frieda will find Anna’s presence soothing.

The only problem is that Anna is...more
Kate
"Anna Pigeon, the intrepid National Park Service ranger in Nevada Barr's superb wilderness mysteries, has had some perilous experiences in the five novels that preceded BLIND DESCENT, but non compares with this thrilling subterranean adventure in the underground caverns of Lechuguilla, 'a monster man-eating cave' in New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns. When a fellow ranger is injured in a caving accident, Anna chokes back the willies of claustrophobia and joins the rescue team. Burrowing 800 feet belo...more
Lighthearted
Lechugilla Cave, located in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, is the setting for the 6th Anna Pigeon mystery. Unlike the main tourist-friendly cave, Lechugilla is wild and largely uncharted. Anna’s coworker and friend, Frieda Dierkz, is part of a small survey team. There’s an accident, Frieda is badly hurt and Anna is asked to be part of the rescue team. Battling claustrophobia every step of the way, Anna focuses on navigating through tight passages, across gaping pits and around precious formatio...more
Donna
Of all of the riveting tales Barr has spun around her park ranger protagonist, Anna Pigeon, this is, I think, the most compelling (and I have read them all)!

Have any issues with claustrophobia? If yours is intense, you may need to give this one a miss. It involves caving and spelunking, including oh my stars crawling in a tiny horizontal tunnel where five extra pounds put on over a last-minute cheesecake just could mean the end of you. Once you've gone miles and you can't go forward, and your l...more
Kathryn
Finally finished this book. It started to feel as if forces beyond my control were conspiring against me ever finishing. I love the character of Anna Pigeon. A warning if you are claustrophobic or afraid of the dark. This book takes you to some tight, dark spaces. Nevada Barr can always be counted on for a good mystery read.
If you want to know the full story on how I was finally able to finish this book keep reading, if not stop here.
I started this book on CD's in my car. The greatest invention...more
Anna
I had just been to Carlsbad Caverns on vacation and I knew that Nevada Barr had written a mystery about it, so I picked it up. Never having read her before, I knew that her mystery series was about a National Park Ranger named Anna Pigeon, and that she was often involved in murder investigations. In this particular book she is brought to Carlsbad from her home park of Mesa Verde (which I also just visited) to help in the rescue effort of a friend of hers. Deep inside Lechiguilla, a huge second c...more
Laura
This was really slow moving in the beginning. A strength of these books is the great descriptions of landscapes and national parks. But sometimes the descriptions get cumbersome (like the details of the rigging of the ropes in the cave). Once I hit about the halfway point, it got really exciting and I was cruising. A weird thing I noticed about this book is that there is not tons of dialogue. There is a lot of summary of the narrator telling you about dialogue that happened, which makes it harde...more
Momster2001
It would be more interesting perhaps if the reader was a spelunker or climber. Lots of technical terms to pass over unless one wants to constantly be interrupted by running to the dictionary. There is a map of the cave which is helpful, but does not give any sense of the massive size. The ending was weak and predictable.
THe tension initially was well formed, but in the end I got bored.
Toni
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne Hawn Smith
Blind Descent is a wonderful title for this Nevada Barr mystery. From the moment claustrophobic Anna Pigeon goes down into the cave to answer the request of her trapped friend, the book is tense with suspense. Why does her friend, who knows she is claustrophobic, want her to go down into the cave? There must be a reason and Anna is alert for clues that are only too present, but equally mystifying.

I am not claustrophobic, but I found myself feeling the same fears as Anna. Barr is so good at creat...more
Judy
My first Nevada Barr book and I am going to look for more. Anna Pigeon had to go into a huge cave at Carlsbad Caverns to be with her friend who had been severely injured in an "accident." Anna is not a caver; does not like the thought of being so far underground, etc. The writing was such that I had to lie down to read it lest I tremor so much, I'd fall down. I was with" Anna the entire time she was in the cave and until reaching terra firma on the outside, I could hardly breathe. The descriptio...more
Jennifer
I liked "Blind Descent" much more than I did "Endangered Species"- I especially liked the descriptions of caving, which is something I have never done (and don't really intend to; like Anna, I'd rather be above-ground), and the author's descriptions of the intricacies of exploring in a subterranean environment which does not have the ability to heal itself from humankind's intrusions (for example, the "P" bottle). I admire how the character Anna Pigeon had to suppress her fear to help her friend...more
Lbaker
Nevada Barr is a master at words, one of a very few authors in which I sometimes need to refer to a dictionary, and I enjoy the challenge. Although she does challenge, the plot is what moves the story and it is often thrilling.

Anna Pigeon is a great heroine, not too perfect, not too young, someone easy to relate to.

This book includes a line which I adore. During a high stress moment in the book, as the heroine is fleeing an antagonist there are many wordy ways of saying how she fled - many wou...more
Lisa
Jul 30, 2014 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone!
I just finished this book and I loved it!!!!! I could feel the palpable tension of her descent into the cave. I was on the edge of my proverbial seat. It was excellent. I highly recommend this book. I think it is the best book she has ever written.
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43613
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
More about Nevada Barr...
Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1) A Superior Death (Anna Pigeon, #2) Ill Wind (Anna Pigeon, #3) Firestorm (Anna Pigeon, #4) Flashback (Anna Pigeon, #11)

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