Just days after marrying Sheriff Paul Davidson, Anna Pigeon moves to Colorado to assume her new post as district ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park.
In Barr's taut 13th thriller to feature Anna Pigeon (after 2004's High Country), the 50-ish National Park Service ranger leaves her new husband, Paul, back in Mississippi, to assume a new post in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park, where she encounters a serial killer and a strong, determined woman, Heath Jarrod, much like herself. Heath, a former ice climber now confined to a wheelchair after a near-fatal fall, feels depressed, isolated and helpless. She's camping in the national park with her physician, who's also her aunt, when a pair of battered young girls, two of three missing from a nearby religious retreat, appear at the campsite. Heath and Anna at first dislike one another, but join forces to break the silence enforced by the retreat's domineering head and discover why the youngsters vanished, who took them, where they were and what happened to the third girl. Barr skillfully weaves contemporary issues of parental responsibility, religious and political separatism, and sexual abuse into her harrowing story. She carefully sets the scene in the first part of the book, which builds to a spectacular climax that pits Anna against evil incarnate. Noted for her precise plotting and atmospheric descriptions of nature, Barr again proves her skill in putting believable characters in peril against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery. Agent, Dominick Abel. National author tour. (Mar. 24) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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February 06, 2006
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Excerpt from Hard Truth by Nevada Barr
Jiminy Christmas!" Heath resisted the call of stronger language out of respect for her aunt's southern sensibilities. "Cross them or fold them or something. Don't just leave them laying there like a couple of dead carp." Heath looked away from her legs. Though they were tidily covered in denim trousers and, to all intents and purposes, looked like the legs of any seated, trim, forty-one-year-old woman, she couldn't bear the sight of them.
"How about I pretzel them?" Gwen said, turning from the campground's specially designed picnic table where she was setting out a plate on the specially designed end so Heath's specially designed wheelchair would roll under oh-so-specially. "Why don't you get Wiley to do it? He's a highly trained helper."
Heath looked to where the dog lay under the table watching a momma mallard and her three late-season ducklings with an evil glint in his eyes. He was originally named Prince Theo III but she and her aunt called him Wiley because of an uncanny resemblance he bore to the cartoon coyote after a run-in with roadrunners and sticks of TNT.