Park ranger Anna Pigeon returns, in a mystery that unfolds in and around Lake Superior, in whose chilling depths sunken treasure comes with a deadly price. In her latest mystery, Nevada Barr sends Ranger Pigeon to a new post amid the cold, deserted, and isolated beauty of Isle Royale National Park, a remote island off the coast of Michigan known for fantastic deep-water dives of wrecked sailing vessels. Leaving behind memories of the Texas high desert and the environmental scam she helped uncover, Anna is adjusting to the cool damp of Lake Superior and the spirits and lore of the northern Midwest. But when a routine application for a diving permit reveals a grisly underwater murder, Anna finds herself 260 feet below the forbidding surface of the lake, searching for the connection between a drowned man and an age-old cargo ship. Written with a naturalist's feel for the wilderness and a keen understanding of characters who thrive in extreme conditions, A Superior Death is a passionate, atmospheric page-turner.
In her second appearance, after Track of the Cat , National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon is posted to an island in Lake Superior, where her interest in wildlife is fully engaged by the local population of humans. Two scuba-diving tourists exploring an old, submerged wreck discover a recent addition: the body of Denny Castle, who ran a commercial diving concession in the park. This makes Anna uneasy about the mysterious disappearance of Donna Butkus, wife of fellow ranger Scotty Butkus. Hawk Bradshaw, who worked with Denny, suggests that there was a link between Denny and Donna, but Hawk is less revealing about the nature of the relationship he and his twin sister had with the dead man and the impact Denny's recent marriage (to yet another woman) had on it. The Bradshaws aren't the only reticent ones here; indeed, Barr's characters hide enough unsavory secrets to keep a soap opera humming for months. Despite the wealth of personal intrigue, FBI agent Frederic Stanton looks for a drug connection to the murder: "I'm all for drugs . . . Takes the guesswork out of law enforcement." The levelheaded Anna is again a treat as she and a couple of minor characters whose lives don't verge on melodrama keep the story from floundering on the rocks. Mystery Guild alternate; paperback rights to Avon.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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August 31, 2003
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