This Nevada Barr was first published in hardback in 1996 and is apparently just now available in paperback. That may explain how I missed it when I was much into Anna Pigeon. Once again Nevada Barr takes "the classic 'marooned on a desert island with a madman concept' ", added facts about the dangers of fighting fires, and twisted everything into an incredible story.....all the way to the very last page.
This is the 4th in the Anna Pigeon series, following the exploits of a terrific character's mystery-solving park ranger. And so far, the best by far.
Barr's descriptions of how fires are fought, and the dangers faced by the brave forest fire fighters are incredible. Anna's character development continues apace, as does her relationship with several characters from previous novels.
Having said that, you don't need to read the earlier volumes in the series to enjoy this immensely.
I'm left with a question: how is it possible that this character has not been picked up by Hollywood or HBO?
Great read with excitement through to the last chapters. Anna Pigeon is quite a heroine - feisty and believable in all Barr's books - but here in particular. The description of the firestorm and the people who survived it was amazing. Wow!
#4 Anna Pigeon, national park ranger mystery, this one is set in the mountains of California where Anna is serving as a medic at a firefighting station. With the wildfire under control and the various teams about to disband, a sudden front with excessive winds reignites the fire and sends a firestorm down the mountain, trapping Anna and a dozen others. Everyone survives the firestorm--except one man, who is found stabbed to death in his fire shelter. The man was not well-liked; in fact, he was positively obnoxious. But who among them had all of The Big Three--Motive, Means and Opportunity? It's up to Anna, with minimal communication with the outside world, to figure it out.
I enjoyed this much more than the previous Anna Pigeon book, which I read several months ago and which almost caused me to give up on this series. I'm glad now that I didn't because this one was superbly done! The only thing missing from this book is Anna's usual phone conversation with her sister Molly, a gruff, chain-smoking psychiatrist in New York. It still gets an A.
If you like mystery/detective novels Anna Pigeon will get you hooked. After a fire sweeps over firefighters they emerge with two dead. One a victim of the fire, the other stabbed in the heart. Anna must investigate this homicide while she and nine others try to survive until help can arrive.
Amazon.com: "A raging fire in a national park seems an unlikely setting for a murder, but that's exactly the circumstances that crime-fighting park ranger and medic Anna Pigeon confronts in this mystery thriller. A suspicious fire breaks loose in Northern California's Lassen Volcanic Park and Pigeon assists in battling the blaze and treating the wounds of other fire fighters. As if that's not enough, Pigeon finds herself without food and water trapped with a group of fire fighters, one of whom is a murderer. She tries to figure out who the culprit is before he, or the weather, strikes again."
From Publishers Weekly: "As she's seen in her fourth spine-tingling adventure, it's hard to tell what impassions hard-nosed park ranger Anna Pigeon more: crime or grime. Fortunately, Barr (Ill Wind) has a flair for depicting both as she sets Anna to providing first aid for the crews fighting an especially nasty forest fire, probably caused by arson, in Northern California's Lassen Volcanic National Park. As if living intimately with strangers under stressful conditions weren't trouble enough, more problems flare when Anna and her EMTs must rescue a firefighter who has broken his leg. On their way back to camp, they are trapped in a firestorm?the most dangerous of all fire conditions. Anna is saved by her silver pup tent, or "shake 'n' bake," which she pulls over herself at the last minute as the fire dances on her back. One of the other medics isn't so lucky. Only it's not just bad luck. It's murder. The tension approaches unbearable when bad weather and destroyed roads trap Anna and the rest of her crew with the murderer in their midst. While Anna, with her compassion, toughness and abundant one-liners, calls Kinsey Milhone to mind, Barr's character is a true original. And for excitement, her line of work can't be beat." Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
An insatiable, unstoppable beast, the wildfire called Jackknife has already devoured 17,000 acres of California's Lassen Volcanic National Park. A devastating force of nature, it has brought out the very best -- and worst -- in those sworn to defeat it.
Ranger Anna Pigeon is among the exhausted firefighters, serving as medic and spike camp security, when an abrupt weather shift sends Jackknife racing relentlessly in their direction. And when the monstrous blaze has passed, Anna emerges from her protective shelter to discover two men are dead: one a victim of the hungry flames, the other stabbed through the heart. Now, trapped in a nightmarish landscape of snow and ash, cut off from rescue by a rampaging winter storm, Anna must investigate an inexplicable homicide -- as she and nine others struggle to survive the terrible rage if nature. . . and the murderer in their midst.