Anna Pigeon, a Ranger with the National Park Service, is on administrative leave from her job as she recovers from the traumas of the past couple of months – while the physical wounds have healed, the emotional ones are still healing. With her new husband busy and back at work, Anna decides to go to stay with an old friend from the Park Service, Geneva, who works as a singer at the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park.
Anna isn’t in town long before she crosses paths with a tenant of Geneva’s, a creepy guy named Jordan. She discovers what seems to be an attempt to place a curse on her – a gruesomely killed pigeon marked with runic symbols – and begins slowly to find traces of very dark doings in the heart of post-Katrina New Orleans. Tied up in all of this evil magic are Jordan, who is not at all what he appears to be; a fugitive mother accused of killing her husband and daughters in a fire; and faint whispers of unpleasant goings-on in the heart of the slowly recovering city.
Now it will take all of Anna’s skills learned in the untamed outdoors to navigate the urban jungle in which she finds herself, to uncover the threads that connect these seemingly disparate people, and to rescue the most vulnerable of creatures from the most savage of animals.
Investigate more mysterious doings with Anna Pigeon.
©2010 Nevada Barr (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Although I don't love the dark hole Nevada Barr seems determined to shove Anna into, I still enjoyed the latest book in the series. I agree with another reviewer who begged Barr to take Anna back into the wild. Part of the charm of her books is the scenery the non-city National parks afford (her Liberty Island book had similar issues for me). My biggest issue was the change of narrator. Joyce Bean did OK, and it sounded like she had listened to Rosenblat and was imitating her style. But Rosenblat IS the voice of Anna. I can't stand it when series like this change narrator. For those of us who listen to all the books, part of the attraction to the series is Rosenblat's voice.
I found this book a difficult read mostly because of the story line. Well, you know what they say about expectations, right? I was expecting another whodunit where Anna Pigeon negotiates the staff and incidental characters who populate one of the national parks. Her stories are always resplendent with details of the natural setting, giving an authentic and integrative feel to the narrative.
This is another type of story altogether. Looks like Barr has abandoned the good old-fashioned linear narrative and uses a more artsy, impressionistic delivery. This seems to be in vogue, as most of the books I've read lately use this technique. While I am sure this makes great sense from the author's point of view, and certainly from an aesthetic point of view, however, it does not make for enjoyable reading, nor does it offer character development. Hard to tell what was actually going on half of the time. Just present-tense impressions and inner dialog.This might work for a painting, since it is mostly texture, but it doesn't work for me in a story.
This was a gritty, suspenseful & edgy book. I had a hard time listening to it & if the story line hadn't gripped me so completely would have turned it off. Her portrayal of pedophilia & child abuse was very disturbing & realistic.
The narrartor, Joyce Bean did an excellent job as always.
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Anna Pigeon series, but it took me a few chapters to get into this story. It was a great departure from the usual story line; however, once in it was difficult to stop listening.
Also, Joyce Bean did a excellent job on the voices and the very unusual characters in the story.
I have all Ms Barr's books and am a big Anna fan but if this is the break-out piece (there are a limited number of National Parks of course) please, let's not put her in the city solving social woes. If Anna has truely reached the age of Ms Marpole let us have some of these great senior adventures. Let her ride the train to Istanbul or the boat up the Nile but keep her out of Kiddy sex shops!
not sure which made the difference, but this is the first nevada barr i have truly struggled through getting to the end.
only long term fans could possibly enjoy this book. i otherwise would say avoid avoid avoid.
if you have never read nevada barr, you are in for a treat by reading/listening to her previous anna pigeon novels, she is fabulous, creating the grandeur of the US national parks as a character in her novels and creating a feisty but grand character with a strong moral compass, anna pigeon.
definitely start with any of the earlier volumes. not necessary to read in order
there are 15 other novels to get better acquainted this forest ranger's law enforcement mysteries.
I am a big fan of Nevada Barr but this one was disappointing. It started off strong and I enjoyed the way she brought the two threads together but the last part was very unpleasant to read. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless they have a strong stomach. Also I wish Nevada would stick to stories set in the great outdoors. When she writes about a national park in an urban setting she loses my interest.
This series is very dependable. The reading is done well, the writing is done well. Nothing that happens really surprises you, if you have read any of the other books in the series. That's okay. You might not get blown away by unexpected plot twists, but you won't be disappointed either. Great light reading with lots of information about our national parks.
I'm so happy I didn't let the negative reviews influence me. I have been a long time Nevada Barr fan, but realized I could no longer tell which ones I'd read already because they were all starting to sound alike. What a refreshing, edge of your seat, change this one is. Yes, it is gritty, and even I found myself saying "no way could things like this really happen", unfortunately I suspect it does. Ms. Barr has really shown how much her talent has improved with this book. I applaud her for taking Anna out of the wilderness for a change and tackling such a heart breaking subject. And the character development for the two personalities in one body was totally outstandIng. I highly, highly recommend it.
This book really should come with a warning, or a barf bag. I'm surprised and disappointed with the author.
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