The Rope by Nevada Barr
Nevada Barr fans will relish her new book, The Rope, because it takes the reader back to when her popular character, Anna Pigeon, starts her journey as a park ranger and detective. New readers to Barr’s series will also enjoy beginning with this book and then reading subsequent titles in the series.
Barr goes back to 1995 where we find Anna arriving from NYC to work at Glen Canyon National Park for the summer. Her husband has died in NYC and she is searching for a way to move beyond the tragedy. The setting for this story, as well as the other 16 titles about Anna Pigeon, takes place in various national parks where Anna solves murders that are often interweaved with the natural setting of the park.
Anna, new to the area and the job decides to take a hike on her day off, but wakes up at the bottom of a dry natural well, near Lake Powell. She has no idea how she got there or who is responsible for this attempt on her life. When Anna comes up missing, her fellow rangers assume she has quit and returned to NYC. No one, except for her attacker, is aware she is trapped and being brutalized for several days in the well.
After a harrowing escape, she returns to the camp and faces the scrutiny of the police and fellow park employees when she describes her ordeal. Her integrity and truthfulness are questioned because of the strange circumstances of her ordeal. However Anna knows someone close to her has attempted to murder her and she highly suspects they will try again. Anna uses her observation skills and psychological insights to gather clues to identify the person, but not before more attempts are made on her life. Of course, since there are 16 books that follow about Anna, you know she successfully solves this mystery, as a strong and determined woman who returns to the park service.
Barr does an excellent job of providing colorful and artistic descriptions of the landscapes in all of her books, and this one is no exception. Readers are not only highly entertained by Barr’s passion for writing great mysteries, but are also educated and enthralled by her majestic descriptions and respect for our national parks.