Tara's Reviews > Hard Truth

Hard Truth by Nevada Barr
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's review
Jun 14, 2009

it was ok
Read in October, 2009

So why do I read Nevada Barr? She writes these little whodunit murder mysteries set in National Parks that are mostly fun little reads. As a former NPS employee, she captures the park service culture very well, which adds to the amusement, because that is one of the cultures I live in. She is also famous for thinly veiling some of her characters, so when she writes about a park you've worked in, it is always fun to try to guess who some of the characters are. The ironic thing is that the most evil person I have ever known in the NPS (or at least the one I have the least respect for), she painted like a rose. Personally, I think he paid her a bonus check to do that. There's no other logical explanation. That was not this book, however.

And why I am getting tired of Nevada Barr? She also hates men (or appears to), so most men in the books (with the exception of Anna's lovers and the one exception above) are painted pretty badly. That can get grating after several novels.

I enjoyed her earliest books the most, and they've tended to get more annoying as you go along, with this one being the worst yet. The topic is awful, and she claims some of the characters used to be Mormon, although they are clearly a spin off from Fundamentalists instead, but she clearly doesn't know the difference. It's also clear she doesn't know anything about Mormons and did not get anyone to review those sections for believability. She claims one character got a Master's in liturigical music at BYU (I had to look that up), and then "worked" in a temple for a couple years after college as if that was his job. And her portrayal of the women was even worse, but I don't know much more about Fundamentalists than she does, and I assume that's what she was really trying to describe under the wrong name. Granted, people can leave the church for any reason and make any choices at any time, but there should be enough resemblance to make it credible, and she failed miserably on this one.
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