Feb 19, 12
Read from February 13 to 19, 2012
Nevada Barr expands the story of Anna Pigeon back to her first stint with the National Park Service in 1995. A depressed, newly widowed Anna arrives at Lake Powell to take a job as an assistant to the seasonal worker charged with making sure the pristine beaches and coves of the lake stay that way, which means removing human waste, testing the water for high bacteria levels, and educating the boating public on proper toilet habits in the wild. This inauspicious start of her new career is nearly halted by an ill fated run in with some bad kids, which, strangely, gives Anna a new lease on life. In typical Nevada Barr style, a place of beauty like Lake Powell is a dangerous place, and the biggest dangers are the two legged types. I love that her characters think and grow and have less than pure thoughts. But I am less than enamoured by the inevitable psychotic that drives up the body count, even though that creepiness doesn't keep me from wanting to read every new book she writes.
Anna is a difficult heroine. She's got some heavy history, a lot of resolve, and probably thinks a lot more than the heroines of most thrillers. Her background in theater is a quirky part of her personality that serves her well. I enjoy how the author uses what she has learned in the theater to help Anna understand the people around her. It adds dimension to Anna's character.
While I wouldn't call any of Nevada Barr's novels a "fun" read, this was surely a quite satisfying story of the struggle between good and evil, with a lot of grey area in between.