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Destroyer Angel (Anna Pigeon Series #18)

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Overview

Anna Pigeon, a ranger for the U.S. Park Services, sets off on vacation—an autumn canoe trip in the to the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. With Anna is her friend Heath, a paraplegic; Heath’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth; Leah, a wealthy designer of outdoor equipment; and her daughter, Katie, who is thirteen. For Heath and Leah, this is a shakedown cruise to test a new cutting edge line of camping equipment. The equipment, designed by Leah, will make camping and canoeing more ...

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Destroyer Angel (Anna Pigeon Series #18)

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Overview

Anna Pigeon, a ranger for the U.S. Park Services, sets off on vacation—an autumn canoe trip in the to the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. With Anna is her friend Heath, a paraplegic; Heath’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth; Leah, a wealthy designer of outdoor equipment; and her daughter, Katie, who is thirteen. For Heath and Leah, this is a shakedown cruise to test a new cutting edge line of camping equipment. The equipment, designed by Leah, will make camping and canoeing more accessible to disabled outdoorsmen. 

On their second night out, Anna goes off on her own for a solo evening float on the Fox River.  When she comes back, she finds that four thugs, armed with rifles, pistols, and knives, have taken the two women and their teenaged daughters captive. With limited resources and no access to the outside world, Anna has only two days to rescue them before her friends are either killed or flown out of the country, in Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Anna Pigeon is a hard-working, crime-fighting U.S. Park Ranger badly in need of a relaxing vacation. With a sense of wanderlust and no clear agenda, she takes off to Minnesota's Iron Range for an autumn canoe excursion with a group of four, including two teenage daughters. She has barely settled in by the second night, but when she returns to the campsite, she discovers that her companions are gone, having been kidnapped by a gang of armed men. With the clock ticking and only scattered clues, Anna must find and rescue them before the unimaginable becomes all too real.

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
…an excruciatingly suspenseful wilderness adventure…Anna isn't the only soldier in this woman warrior adventure. The mothers and their daughters prove to be brave, resourceful and remarkably ingenious at befuddling the goons while Anna, the silent hunter lurking in the woods, picks them off one by one.
Publishers Weekly
★ 02/10/2014
Bestseller Barr’s gripping 18th Anna Pigeon novel (after 2012’s The Rope) takes the National Park Service ranger on an autumn camping trip along the Fox River of the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. Anna’s first vacation since her honeymoon three years earlier doubles as a get-together with Heath Jarrod, a paraplegic; Heath’s daughter, Elizabeth; Leah Hendricks, who designs outdoor gear; and Leah’s daughter, Katie. For Leah, the trip also is a “shakedown cruise” to test a new line of equipment to make the outdoors accessible to the handicapped. On their second night, four armed men invade the campsite while Anna is on a solo canoe float. Barr touches again on her recurring theme, that man is the biggest threat in nature, as Anna works unseen to disarm the thugs and free her friends. Barr’s gift for depicting breathtaking scenery elevates the story, as does Anna’s complex, ever-evolving personality. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
“A harrowing survival story, well imagined and forcefully told, about a brutal act that inspires a weak woman to become a strong one.” —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review, on The Rope

“Gripping . . . suspenseful . . . a tightly coiled story about trust and rebuilding a life, set against a stunning landscape.” —Sun Sentinel on The Rope

“Barr writes with a cool steady hand about the violence of nature and the cruelty of man.” —New York Times Book Review

“Outstanding . . . Anna’s complex personality continues to elevate the series. ” —Publishers Weekly (starred) on Burn

“Nevada Barr is one of the best.” —The Boston Globe

“Another awesome winner for Barr!” —Library Journal on The Rope

“A fast-moving, unforgettable tale.” —Times-Picayune (New Orleans) on The Rope

“Barr creates possibly her most riveting story yet.” —Charlotte Observer on Burn

Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-06
Park ranger Anna Pigeon faces down—or, more accurately, hides from and bedevils—an unusually dangerous criminal in upstate Minnesota's Iron Range. When you work in the national parks, what do you do with your time off? If you're Anna, you take a camping trip with your friends Heath Jarrod, a paraplegic who once saved your life, and Leah Hendricks, an outdoor gear designer, as well as their respective daughters, so Heath can test the latest equipment Leah's designed for other-abled campers. And if you're Anna, things quickly turn violent. A gun-toting heavy dubbed "the Dude" confronts the party with three equally well-armed minions and announces his plan to kidnap Leah and Katie Hendricks and kill Heath and her adopted daughter, Elizabeth. Luckily for the women, Anna happens to have stepped out for a few minutes to spend some quality time alone with nature, and although the Dude has been informed that there's a fifth woman, he's easily persuaded that she canceled out at the last minute. So begins a prolonged game of cat and mouse in which Anna, unarmed and accompanied only by Heath's elderly dog, Wily, stalks the oblivious predators and their victims, watching for her chance to disarm or kill the small-time thugs—leering Sean Ferris, witless Jimmy Spinks and gangbanger Reg Waters—or grab the brass ring by neutralizing the Dude. The formula guarantees nonstop suspense (though not so much if you're convinced that Anna and her friends will survive), but Barr (The Rope, 2012, etc.), writing as usual with welcome delicacy and feeling, works a surprising number of variations on her theme, right up to the predictable but satisfying final twist. A tour de force that's both the most one-dimensional and the most satisfying of Anna's recent adventures.
Library Journal
★ 01/01/2014
On a vacation from her job in Rocky Mountain National Park, park ranger Anna Pigeon anticipates a serene camping trip in Minnesota's North Woods with her friend Heath Jarrod; Heath's daughter, Elizabeth; Leah, a designer of outdoor equipment for the disabled; and her daughter Katie. Instead, Anna finds herself in an unreal, almost supernatural battle against the forces of evil as she races against time and the elements of nature to save her friends and truly be "her sister's keeper." Pushing through the woods without equipment or supplies, Anna draws upon all her wilderness knowledge and training to follow the three women who have been kidnapped by armed men moving them toward an airstrip. But why? All the women face their weaknesses and gain new awareness of their own strengths as they fight the evils that hold them captive. (Readers will remember Heath, a paraplegic woman who befriended Anna in Hard Truth.) VERDICT Once again, Barr lays down a riveting mystery and permeates the pages with scrupulous descriptions of Anna's struggle with the cold, with the night, and with the terror and fear of not rescuing her friends. [See Prepub Alert, 10/20/13; library marketing.]—Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Colls., Mt. Carmel
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312614584
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Series: Anna Pigeon Series , #18
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 44,788
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Nevada  Barr

NEVADA BARR is a novelist, actor, and artist best known for her New York Times bestselling,
award-winning mystery series featuring Anna Pigeon. A former National Park Service Ranger, she currently lives with her husband in New Orleans, Louisiana.
 
 

Named “the gold standard” of audiobook narrators and “a voice of the century” by AudioFile Magazine, Barbara Rosenblat is one of the most beloved artists in the industry, having won an impressive 8 Audies along with over 40 Earphone Awards and the 2010 Odyssey Medal for Best Audio Production. An accomplished theater, film, and television actress, Rosenblat has been featured on Orange is the New Black and has performed both on Broadway and in London’s West End theatre.

 

Biography

Nevada Barr was born in the small western town of Yerington, Nevada and raised on a mountain airport in the Sierras. Both her parents were pilots and mechanics and her sister, Molly, continued the tradition by becoming a pilot for USAir.

Pushed out of the nest, Nevada fell into the theatre, receiving her BA in speech and drama and her MFA in acting before making the pilgrimage to New York City, then Minneapolis, MN. For 18 years she worked on stage, in commercials and industrial training films, and did voice-overs for radio. During this time she became interested in the environmental movement and began working in the National Parks during the summers -- Isle Royale in Michigan, Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and then on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi.

Woven throughout these seemingly disparate careers was the written word. Nevada wrote and presented campfire stories, taught storytelling, and was a travel writer and restaurant critic. Her first novel, Bitterweet, was published in 1983. The Anna Pigeon series, featuring a female park ranger as the protagonist, started when she married her love of writing with her love of the wilderness, the summer she worked in west Texas. The first book, Track of the Cat, was brought to light in 1993 and won both the Agatha and Anthony awards for best first mystery. The series was well received, and A Superior Death, loosely based on Nevada's experiences as a boat patrol ranger on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, was published in 1994. In 1995, Ill Wind came out. It was set in Mesa Verde, Colorado, where Nevada worked as a law enforcement ranger for two seasons. The rest is, shall we say, history.
Biography from author website.

Good To Know

In our interview with Barr, she disclosed three interesting facts about herself:

"I will forget your face and name, but never your stories."

"I love to sing but can clear a concert hall at the drop of a note."

"I lie, but never about the important stuff -- and I get to decide what is the important stuff."

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    1. Hometown:
      Clinton, Mississippi
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 1, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Yerington, Nevada
    1. Education:
      B.A., Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, 1974; M.A., University of California at Irvine, 1977
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

ONE
 
 
Hands thrust deep in the pockets of the absurd checkered hunter’s coat—protective coloration in northern Minnesota—Charles stared at the campground. Gray ash, blown into ripples, exposed an old campfire ring. On the edges of the clearing the ash melded into gray hills, low and still in death. Black spikes, the last rebellion of living trees, thrust up through the misery of destruction.
Giving God the finger, Charles thought. Never a good idea. Like most Catholics, Charles prayed to Jesus and Mother Mary when he bothered to pray. Jesus was in the redemption business. Not God; God was in the smiting business.
“What’re we gonna do, Dude?”
Charles slid his eyes toward the Fox River. The fire had been stopped by the water. Its final act of destruction was the campground. On the far bank, vegetation was a lush mockery; verdant greens, rich golds, and loud reds thrust out over the water like so many jeering faces.
“What’re we gonna do, Dude?” repeated the goon, slouching between Charles and the river.
Known facts automatically played in Charles’s mind: Sean Ferris, small-time muscle. Philadelphia, Chicago, then Detroit. Served three years for rape. Obedient, loyal. Attack dog. Ferris was old for this work, and fat. The black leather coat and pointed-toe boots stuck him in the sixties, too overdone even to pass for retro.
Charles took his cell phone from the pocket of the blanket coat and pushed the number three.
“Calling Mr. Big?” asked another of the goons Bernie had stuck him with.
James R. Spinks, forty-one years of age, out of Detroit, Michigan, connected to what passed for Mafia. Scum for hire. IQ of 84. Went by the name Jimmy. Grown men who liked to be called by little boys’ names needed to be hung by their tiny dicks, Charles thought.
Bernie picked up on the second ring. The fool must be hunched over the phone, waiting for news of his cunning foray into crime.
“Campground is burned,” Charles said. “Nothing to acquire.” The job was supposed to be a clean smash-and-grab. Bernie, Mr. Big, hadn’t done his homework. The fool actually believed Charles had no idea who was the so-called brains behind this caper. Bernard Iverson, forty-six, Edmondson, Canada, marine equipment, massively overextended, net worth five million dollars and still not worth the bullet it would take to kill him.
“One second, please,” Bernie said.
Unblinking, Charles waited, listening to a clatter that suggested Bernie was using his cell phone as a hockey puck. He gritted his teeth, his jaw muscles bunched into hard knots. This was the only outward show of emotion he allowed himself. Humans were masters at reading faces. A second’s hesitation, a flick of the eyes, a smile at the wrong time telegraphed weakness. Even people who didn’t understand what they were seeing retained enough feral instinct to home in on any chink in the armor. From that day forth they hammered at it until the chink became a crack and the crack a break. Once the soft flesh was exposed they went for the entrails with talons and tongues as sharp as harpies’.
The only earth the meek inherited was six feet down and capped by a stone.
A final scrimmage and Bernie was back. “There’s a second campsite about four miles north on the same side of the river. It looks like it didn’t burn. They probably stopped there.”
Charles kept waiting. Four miles, no trail, probably: not good enough. The whole setup was Mickey Mouse. Bernie didn’t know Charles, but Charles knew him. Michael had once said the so-called Mr. Big was nickel and dime, undermining unions, cutting corners, slighting on materials. That was why they’d bought him out. When it came to fundamental criminal activities, Charles doubted if he could steal a peek at a nudist camp. Given half a day, Charles could have come up with a better crew than Bernie’s bottom-feeders.
“I’ll get a bird’s-eye’s and call you back,” Bernie said finally.
Charles punched the disconnect. Jimmy, dressed in a coat identical to the one Charles wore, but with a matching hat and earflaps, spit a stream of tobacco juice into the ash. Mostly into the ash; a drop or two of spittle remained in the Ted Kaczynski–style beard he sported.
“What’s the deal?” Jimmy asked. His teeth were stained brown.
Charles looked away. “The target may be four miles upriver. The pilot’s doing a flyby. We wait here until we have a positive ID.”
“Then what?” This from Reg.
Reginald Waters, African American, thirty-one, Detroit. Ex-gangbanger, low-end drug dealer, con man. Into bookies for a hundred and seventy-three grand. Last call for repayment before the bad boys came for him.
“If the target is located, we move to acquire it,” Charles said without looking at Waters. Eye contact was an invitation to intimacy. Flee, fight, fornicate, or, Charles’s least favorite, ask stupid questions. Open honest intercourse was not a paradigm for leadership that appealed to him.
“Even with others he works alone.”
Charles’s brother had said that. A photograph of Michael clicked onto the screen in Charles’s mind, the black-and-white glossy taken for his senior yearbook. Next to it appeared the picture of the target lifted from the Internet.
Payback is going to be a bitch, Charles promised his little brother.

 
Copyright © 2014 by Nevada Barr

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 2, 2014

    Nevada Barr always provides a good read and this was no exceptio

    Nevada Barr always provides a good read and this was no exception.  I am a twenty year fan of Anna Pigeon even though I do not always agree with Anna's political or religious views.  This book had adventure, suspense,  and a great dog.   While I found myself wishing Anna would just take care of business without the philosophical wonderings, I realized that the wondering is partly why I will always buy an Anna Pigeon story no questions asked.  

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    309 pages

    This 309 page book is by one of my favorite authors. I paid almost $10.00 for this novel. This a lot for me, usually $3.00 is my limit and I get the more expensive books from the library. I love Neveda Barr's, Anna Pigeon series. The formatting and sentence structure in this book was a litte different from her other books, not bad, just different. The way she wrote this book really added to the tension and the must hurry feel of the book. NB's writting is a big favorite of mine because she gets her point across without a lot of descriptive, Texas Chain Saw Massacre, type of gore. There is quite a bit of murder, violence and attempted rape of a young girl in this book. No cursing, actual sex, drug use or romance occurs. There is a very general reference to religion. There is a side character, which is gay, his role was very interesting, even though, he was more a reference character then anything else. A dog gets injured by one of the baddies, but lives to bark and chase squrriels another day. I really liked seeing Anna's gentle care of the injured animal. This was a softer side of her, which is rarely shown. This is a well edited book which can be enjoyed by men as well as women. I highly recommend it, for mystery lovers ages, ages 16 and up.

    AD

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    Anna Pigeon Fans

    The writing style is not what we are used to. Did Nevada Barr write this? Is someone assisting in writing? Both my husband and myself noticed it somewhat odd. We are big fans fans and look forward to anything new from Nevada Barr. Just curious….

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2014

    Kept me on the edge of my seat!

    A powerful book about a situation I hope I am never in. The writing was so descriptive, I had to stop reading before going to bed so I would not have bad dreams. Barr really captured Anna's dilemma in this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    Exciting Read

    This book is an excellent portrayal of strong, courageous women (and dog)! It was hard to put down. What is next for Anna Pigeon (after her recuperation of course) Cannot wait!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2014

    Destroyer Angel is a thrilling, gripping, suspenseful and heart

    Destroyer Angel is a thrilling, gripping, suspenseful and heart stopping read. Nevada Barr has written another awesome Anna Pigeon suspense thriller. I had a hard time putting it down because of the heart stopping events happening to the four captives by the thugs that had taken them captive and Anna who was trying to rescue them. There was one incident that caused my heart to jump in my throat. I thought my chest would burst till I saw what was going to happen hoping it wouldn't be what I feared.
    This was one of the best Anna Pigeon books Barr has written. I loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Novels in the Anna Pigeon series usually take place in national

    Novels in the Anna Pigeon series usually take place in national parks featuring the wilderness as she grapples with the likes of forest fires and the like. This time, as she braves a Minnesota forest, it is four gunmen who have kidnapped two friends and their daughters while she was out canoeing, thus missing out on the party at the beginning: The five women originally planned to enjoy a long weekend camping at a park ranger site.

    Thus begins a long trek of undue hardship as the captives are forced to travel toward a landing strip miles away where the kidnappers hoped to be picked up by a plane to wait for the eventual payoff. Instead, as they slowly head to their destination, trailed by Anna whose purpose obviously is somehow to rescue her friends, the reader is treated to a gruesome blow-by-blow account of the rough treatment the women receive and lessons in how to survive in the wilderness, courtesy of Anna the park ranger, as well as how to stalk prey.

    The descriptions are graphic and powerful, brutal and mesmerizing. Unfortunately, from time to time, the author interjects opinions on a variety of side issues which detract from the forward thrust of the plot. Otherwise, this is a forceful tale, and is recommended.

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  • Posted August 14, 2014

    Nevada Barr has done it again!

    Nevada Barr has done it again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2014

    Grate read for outdoors people.

    This was a enjoyable read. Some just hand in there and deal WITH SITUATIONS. Lots of action and believable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2014

    Sensational. I never get tired of this series.

    Sensational. I never get tired of this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    Bthyhj

    Hvnn

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Terrific read but not unlike the rest of the series

    I gobbled this down in one all night session - it's that

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Not up to her usual standard

    I was disappointed. Usually love each of her books but not this one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Great read!

    Another great book by Nevada Barr. Can't wait for the next one!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    Great read -

    The best Ms Barr has written in many years. Hard to put down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Page turner

    Grips your attention from the beginning and doesn't let go.

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  • Posted May 2, 2014

    A Thrill Ride!

    In a nutshell: Anna and friends go camping, and Bad Guys kidnap her friends while she is away from their camp. Her years of law enforcement and wilderness training enable her to track them down and try to rescue them. If you already love Anna Pigeon, you MUST read this. If you don't know Anna yet, but you like strong, quiet heroines who never give up in the face of adversity, you WILL enjoy this book.
    Unlike most of the other Anna Pigeon books, this one is not set in a national park, but the wilderness landscape through which the characters struggle is definitely one of the defining aspects of the story.
    I'm only sorry I gobbled this book down so quickly; however, there's plenty of time to reread it...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Got to read this series!

    I have read all the Anna Pigeon books and LOVE them. Anna is a park ranger who manages to get involved with a murder everywhere she goes. Very suspenseful and fun to read. I have just started this one and can hardly put it down.

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  • Posted April 30, 2014

    ¿Destroyer Angel¿, the newest addition to Nevada Barr¿s Anna Pig

    “Destroyer Angel”, the newest addition to Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series, is set in the Minnesota woods. Anna is on a camping / canoeing trip with 2 friends and their teenage daughters, a trip that is interrupted by armed thugs who kidnap the 4 women while Anna is off by herself. Her task is to do what she can to rescue them without getting captured or killed in the process.

    I found this book to be a radical departure from the earlier works in this series.

    For one thing, this is not a “whodunit” – we know darn well who’s doing it from the outset – but more like a “whydunit”, trying to figure out the motivation of a group of kidnappers in the Minnesota woods. Suspense fans may love this change, murder mystery fans may dislike it, while fans who like both types of novels may not give it a second thought. (And note that I said “woods”; we’re on Forest Service land in this one, not in or near a National Park.)

    Secondly, the book’s pacing is close to real-time, perhaps reaching out to fans of Dan Brown’s books and the television series ‘24’. These are not bad things, as Barr carries them off quite nicely in my opinion. However they are “things” that some fans of the series may not like simply because they deviate from the general formula.

    The quality was still there – in fact, I think I enjoyed “Destroyer Angel” more than “Burn” and “The Rope”, which were the last 2 books in this series. (And yes, I DID like those two books.) THAT is what was most important to me.

    RATING: A qualified 5 stars. Nevada, “A Superior Death” and “Firestorm” are still my favorite 2 books in the series. However, it is not fair to not allow for gradients of a “5 star” rating. This book was extremely well written, caught and kept my attention, had likeable characters, and will remain with me after I’ve moved on to my next book. Those are my qualifications for 5 star, and you met them. (Perhaps we can consider the other 2 books to be a “5+” as a compromise.)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2014

    Disappointed

    I look forward to the things I learn about national parks in Ms. Barr's books so I was disappointed that she departed from that premiss In this book although it was an interesting story

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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