Beth Wood's Reviews > Burn

Burn by Nevada Barr
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's review
Dec 22, 2011

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bookshelves: mystery
Read in December, 2011

This book gets a three-star rating as an average. There are aspects that are excellent, and aspects that I feel were not Nevada Barr's best work.

The plot is intricately woven, with two story lines that do not overlap until the middle of the book. Barr's descriptions of people and places bring them to life, as always, and her writing is evocative and well-crafted. I have to give the writing a 4.5.

But I feel there are problems with this novel. For starters, the strength of Barr's protagonist is that she is a park ranger, and her descriptions of the beautiful national parks are part of the draw of this series. Anna Pigeon doesn't belong in New Orleans, and to boot, she is on leave and supposedly on vacation. This was true of the last book as well. Yet her life has been more in danger on her two "vacations" than in her everyday job. I have to give the circumstances of the story a 2.0. It doesn't fit the character. This book would almost have been better with a different protagonist.

The other thing that bothered me, and this is purely personal, was the subject matter of this book. It is about pedophiles and sex trafficking of children. Some of the descriptions are pretty graphic. It hurt me to read about this, and I had bad dreams, and I wasn't expecting to read about sex crimes when I knew my protagonist was a park ranger. So I feel a little that I was duped into reading this plot because I love the Anna Pigeon character.

I hope in her next book, due early 2012, she retires Anna or goes back to her usual format.
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