RogerBW's Blog

Blood Lure, Nevada Barr 29 June 2014

Ninth in Barr's Anna Pigeon series. In Glacier National Park, a trip to move sampling traps for bear DNA is disrupted by an odd bear attack, and the next morning a woman is found dead and mutilated… by human tools.

Because Anna is away from her home park, there's more detail than usual about the non-investigative part of her work (as in the earlier Firestorm), and at times this feels a little slow. The mystery side of the plot progresses very slowly at first, leaving the first half of the book a bit lacking in oomph, but picks up pace towards the end.

A side plot dealing with a poisonous interpersonal relationship is handled remarkably well, and in particular considers the usual aftermath of abusive situations. Barr is good at messed-up people. There's not much series development here; Anna's new relationship is on hold while she's away, and there's only a brief mention of her sister Molly.

As always, the descriptive passages are excellent; Barr has of course visited (and in some cases worked at) all the places she describes, and does a fine job of putting them on the page. For me at least, this made up for the slow start. On the other hand, the bad guy(s) never quite come(s) over as convincing; a bit too much caricature, I think.

The mystery lays itself wide open quite early on and won't deceive the experienced reader for long, though a few details remain to be filled in. All the necessary information is here, perhaps a little too plainly disguised as being relevant to something else. The ending seems a little facile, with all the good guys getting what they want at little cost.

Not a star of the series (for me that would probably be Blind Descent or Superior Death), but a worthy entry. We're not on the inevitable down-slope of quality yet.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Previous in series: Deep South | Series: Anna Pigeon | Next in series: Hunting Season

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1