The book is Nevada Barr's newest, Borderline.
Building on her own career as a law enforcement ranger with the National Park Service (NPS), Barr has now written 15 mystery and adventure books set in National Parks. She's been all those places (although she hasn't worked in all of them). It's pretty obvious she's more comfortable in the big outdoors than in the big city.
The main character in these books is Ranger Anna Pigeon, a powerful and assertive woman who has battled alligators, wolves, forest fires, and all manner of bad people. She has incredible recuperative powers because she bounces back from physical and psychological traumas that would send most of us into retirement from rangering.
However, after the horrors of the adventures described in Barr's previous book, Winter Study, the NPS puts Ranger Pigeon on medical leave and tells her to take some time off and really get over it. They don't want a PTSD survivor patrollling the campgrounds in any National Park.
That sets up the Rio Grande rafting trip along Big Bend National Park [That's Barr's hat and life vest on the Rio Grande at right.] that Pigeon and her husband take for the next adventure. High water, a drowned woman and her nearly drowned baby, a sniper at the top of the canyon, and a smarmy Texas politician, turn the recuperation vacation into another deadly adventure. Anna Pigeon is going to need another leave after this one.
Barr tells good stories. They're always a little beyond the pale of credulity, but the narrative is so good, I don't let that get in the way (much).
This book continues Barr's tradition. I liked the story and enjoyed reading the book. The deadly tension and adventure in several places led me to interrupt my reading and put the book down. But, I always wanted to go back, and I did. The fact that I fell asleep one evening while reading was caused by fatigue, not the writing.
If you read Borderline, tell us what you think.
- Nevada Barr's web site
- Nevada Barr's Facebook page has great photos of the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park
- Roz Shea's review of Borderline at Book Reporter
- Nevada Barr web page at The Mississippi Writers Page
- Winter with wolves and worse, my comments on Winter Study
E-Book for Kindle