Read it, and your nails will be in serious trouble.
The serene snow country suddenly turns deadly for Anna Pigeon in Barr's riveting 12th novel to feature the intrepid National Park Service ranger (after 2003's Flashback). On assignment to locate four young park employees who went missing in a fierce storm, the 50ish Anna is working undercover as a waitress at Yosemite's Ahwahnee Hotel, where she must deal not only with an exacting supervisor and a surly head chef but also share a dorm with 20-something roommates. Evoking the stunning beauty of the park in winter, Barr contrasts the relative safety of Yosemite Valley with the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains into which Anna treks in search of the missing kids. Danger crackles like ice on the frozen lake where she finds a partially submerged plane loaded with drugs. Attacked by vicious poachers, Anna flees into the absolute, terrifying darkness for an ordeal that will keep readers eagerly turning the pages. So well done is this nail-biting sequence that the resolution can come only as something of a letdown. Barr has a true gift for outdoor writing, using the lush snow as natural cover for the violent life in the wild as well as among the park's human custodians. Anyone contemplating a nice winter hike will think twice after entering the wilderness with Anna, but her fans always come back for more. (Feb. 9) FYI: Winner of both Agatha and Anthony awards, Barr is also the author of an inspirational memoir, Seeking Enlightenment... Hat by Hat (2003). Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon is back in Barr's 12th novel, and this time she is sent undercover to Yosemite National Park as a waitress at the Ahwahnee Lodge to investigate the mysterious disappearance of four young park employees. During her off hours, Anna manages to do some snooping. She discovers that a group of hostile men have taken over the cabin owned by one of the missing youths. Further exploration via a hike into the beautiful but dangerous Sierra Nevadas leads her to a crashed plane filled with drugs submerged in a frozen lake. When Anna is wounded by a group of deadly poachers, the tension rises as she attempts a desperate escape and fight for her life. Though this nail-biting sequence might have been better served at the end of the book, nevertheless, fans should enjoy this latest outing, read by Joyce Bean. For public libraries.-Phillip Oliver, Univ. of North Alabama Lib., Florence Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-A fast-moving, action-packed, gory mystery-adventure. On loan to the staff in Yosemite National Park, Ranger Anna Pigeon goes undercover as a waitress to determine why four young staff members have disappeared without a trace. Readers will smile at her challenge to live in a dorm with messy, teenage, party-loving roommates. Her clues take her on an overnight hike where she comes face to face with foulmouthed villains, and it becomes a fight for survival of the fittest against both man and nature. As Anna reviews her clues and ponders her next moves, Barr effectively summarizes the story for readers. Descriptions of the park scenery add to the enjoyment of the mystery. Although more vicious than the others in the series, this is a must purchase for Anna's fans.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Back from her sojourn among the ghosts of 1865 (Flashback, 2003), Anna Pigeon, everyone's favorite park ranger, is, well, waiting tables at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Three weeks ago, four young people-rock climber Dixon Crofter, trail crewmember Patrick Waters, Ahwahnee hostess Trish Spencer, and summer intern Caitlin Bates-vanished from their jobs in the Yosemite National Park. Did they go hiking and get lost in the surrounding wilderness? Did the brutal snows that followed cut off their return? Or did they meet a more sinister fate? Looking for answers, the National Park Service has sent Anna to the Ahwahnee, the park's legendary hotel, to work undercover as she quizzes impressionable witnesses like hotel maid Mary Bates and tilts with oversized egos like head chef James Wither. Soon after Anna's arrival, she and Mary find four unlovely squatters with threadbare cover stories roosting in Dix's vacated shelter, and a stoned restaurant busgirl, whom Anna's brought back to life after she stopped breathing and collapsed, entertains a menacing hospital visitor she refuses to identify, though it's obviously Trish's no-account brother. All these complications unfold within a series of claustrophobic little rooms, and it's a deep relief when, halfway through the tale, Anna finally takes to the high-country trails to meet dangers Barr's eager fans will welcome. Even more appealing than the carefully clued mystery and the exhilarating survey of Yosemite is Barr's matchless control of fictional space, from wide-open to grave-narrow. Author tour. Agent: Dominick Abel