After a bit of a flop in "Borderline", Barr and Pigeon are back on their game! Anna isn't really the central character here, leaving that role to a slightly (or perhaps more) crazy mother / actress desperately trying to locate her children, kidnapped during the murder of her husband. Murder for which she is the prime suspect, of course!
Barr's skill is in making a completely ridiculous plot animated by an equally absurd principal character... completely credible!
And of course... Anna gets shot again. But only a flesh-wound, this time.
I've read and listened to many of the Anna Pigeon books and this is by far my favorite. I know other listeners did not enjoy this particular story line but I had a whole different reaction to it. For one, I thought it a timely story since the trafficking of women and children is a very current issue. I particularly liked the narration by Joyce Bean who gave Anna a voice that seemed just right to me.
This wasn't one of my favorite Anna Pigeon books at all. It was very disturbing subject matter and I hated the ending. If you are going to have to deal with such disgusting and depraved subject matter the very least you could do is either kill all the scum at the end or send them to jail. What happened to the poor kids? You just left us hanging. Anna always gets the bad guys, she always wins in the end. Don't go changing horses in midstream on us now, that's just not right.
Anna Pigeon is still off duty after the attack at Isle Royale. She is visiting a fellow ranger in New Orleans and meets Jordan, her friend's tenant, a gutterpunk. There's something just not right about Jordan, and Anna decides to investigate. Ms. Barr has returned to the topic of sexual abuse of children, as she wrote about in Hard Truth. It's not the easiest subject to listen to, and I can say I prefer the Anna Pigeon books that deal with other subjects. Nevertheless, there are plenty of plot intersections, as there usually are in Ms. Barr's books. New narrator for this one. She does the variety of voices well, but I do miss Barbara Rosenblat, who performed the previous books.
I have read all of Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon novels, and am a big fan. However, I do think that Burn, like several of the other more recent Anna Pigeon novels, takes a very dark and disturbing turn away from the traditional national park scene that I have loved to read about in the past. The details of the child sex trade portrayed in Burn, while most likely accurate, were very difficult to listen to. This novel may be too disturbing for some. I honestly regret hearing parts of the novel, and would probably have thought twice about downloading the book if I knew in advance what was in store. I do like the narrator of this book, and have enjoyed her voice in other Anna Pigeon novels as well.
Nevada Barr writes some of my favorite books and I return to them when I want a book that's comfortable. This one had me very upset. The subject is disgusting and I don't expect that of the Anna Pigeon series. And, it wasn't even set in one of the national parks!!
Also, I missed Barbara Rosenblat and her amazing voices. She really brings these books to life.
To describe "Burn" as a huge disappointment would be an understatement. I would give it a "no stars" rating if I could. The plot and character development were weak, and with the exception of Anna and her few friends, all the characters were one-dimensional and evil. The bleak tale of child sex abuse was completely lacking in balance or perspective, and seemed at times to be going for maximum shock value just for the sake of being shocking. While I don't begrudge Anna Pigeon a story set in a city, there was little development of the flavor of New Orleans except as a back drop for bad guys doing terrible things. Anna's actions were not very believable so that made the flimsy story even harder to swallow. Save your time and money and avoid this one. I wish I had!
This story is more about someone else than Anna P. The narrator is just not B. Rosenblat -- and I couldn't get over that. It wasn't like the other, wonderful, national park based books in the series. A great disappointment to a real fan of this N. Barr character.
If you are looking for the usual Anna Pigeon story to delve into, with wilderness, animals and suspense, you will be as disappointed as I was. (my fault for not reading the reviews!) I agree with what most of the other reviewers say. This was difficult to listen to, especially if you are a parent or love kids. I usually love her work and I thought this was going to be more along the lines of her novel set outside NYC, but I was sadly mistaken. I appreciate the author wanting to experiment with different settings, but I admit, I live in a city and what I love about the other books was the mental escape to the wild...the natural wild, not this sick and twisted human misery kind.