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Burn: An Anna Pigeon Novel (Anna Pigeon Mysteries) Hardcover – August 3, 2010

2.8 out of 5 stars 238 customer reviews
Book 16 of 18 in the Anna Pigeon Mysteries Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Barr's outstanding 16th Anna Pigeon novel (after Borderline) takes the National Park Service ranger to the urban wilderness of post-Katrina New Orleans, where the Jazz National Heritage Park preserves the Big Easy's music. Anna comes to believe that a creepy neighbor, Jordan, one of the "gutter punks" who roam the city, is a pedophile. But Jordan turns out to have another side, and his link with Clare Sullivan, a Seattle actress whose family was murdered in a fire Clare is suspected of setting, is a linchpin of Barr's skillful plot. Anna vividly maneuvers the lurid city jungle, from a Bourbon Street strip joint, where the women have formed a family, to a brothel specializing in children. Anna also learns that appearances can deceive even the most insightful of rangers. Anna's complex personality continues to elevate the series, and the ranger's sojourn to New Orleans further energizes this always reliable series. 150,000 first printing.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

With its focus on pedophilia and human trafficking, Burn is Barr's darkest and creepiest mystery yet. Although some critics were disturbed by its subject matter, most were thrilled by Barr's crackling prose, pulsating action, and authentic characters. While praising the riveting and increasingly complex park ranger, they also hailed Claire as Barr's finest creation, as multifaceted and genuine as she is sympathetic. Barr even manages to work in some insightful reflections on marriage, identity, and aging. Although critics diverged in their opinions of Barr's rendering of the Big Easy--"an insider's tour" (South Florida Sun-Sentinel) versus a "pedestrian tourist route" (New York Times Book Review)--all were fascinated watching Anna maneuver through a wilderness of a different sort.

Product Details

  • Series: Anna Pigeon Mysteries (Book 16)
  • Hardcover: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031261456X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312614560
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #724,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nevada was born in the small western town of Yerington, Nevada and raised on a mountain airport in the Sierras. Both her parents were pilots and mechanics and her sister, Molly, continued the tradition by becoming a pilot for USAir.
Pushed out of the nest, Nevada fell into the theatre, receiving her BA in speech and drama and her MFA in Acting before making the pilgrimage to New York City, then Minneapolis, MN. For eighteen years she worked on stage, in commercials, industrial training films and did voice-overs for radio. During this time she became interested in the environmental movement and began working in the National Parks during the summers -- Isle Royale in Michigan, Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and then on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi.
Woven throughout these seemingly disparate careers was the written word. Nevada wrote and presented campfire stories, taught storytelling and was a travel writer and restaurant critic. Her first novel, Bitterweet was published in 1983. The Anna Pigeon series, featuring a female park ranger as the protagonist, started when she married her love of writing with her love of the wilderness, the summer she worked in west Texas. The first book, Track of the Cat, was brought to light in 1993 and won both the Agatha and Anthony awards for best first mystery. The series was well received and A Superior Death, loosely based on Nevada's experiences as a boat patrol ranger on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, was published in 1994. In 1995 Ill Wind came out. It was set in Mesa Verde, Colorado where Nevada worked as a law enforcement ranger for two seasons.
The rest is, shall we say, HISTORY! Nevada's books and accomplishments have become numerous and the presses continue to roll, so in the interest of NOT having to update this page, books, awards, status on the New York Times Best Seller List -- and more -- will be enumerated with the relevant books else where on this website.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I love this series, but the latest two haven't been pleasing or enjoyable to read. Too much angst, and the trend toward violence has been increasing since High Country, or seems to, anyway. I'm very glad I didn't use one of my [...] credits to get this on audio,as I would not have enjoyed listening to this one on the road.

I'd like to see Anna return to a more interesting group of parks - it doesn't have to be a Western park, as I loved "Liberty Falling." I'm sure there's a long-term plan here, but the parts of the story that I always love - the mentions of Piedmont, Taco, and Paul were purely perfunctory here, just mentioned for the sake of being mentioned, but not a part of the story. Yes, I know Piedmont is usually sitting in someone else's distant lap, but I like the stories where the pets are actually present. Of course, realistically, these animals are getting pretty old, and so is Anna. How much longer is Anna going to keep winning these unlikely fights with younger people, particularly stronger men, and executing heroic rescues against all odds?

I like Barr's books because I like visiting with my "friends," and the purported plot isn't necessarily of major importance, but when the background has such a high ick factor and the plot is so bizarre, I don't get into it.
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Format: Hardcover
I can't believe I just typed that title. But it's true - I think it's time that a character I had once hoped would NEVER "grow old and die" needs to do something just short of that.

A Michigan native & resident, I was in such anticipation of Anna's return to Isle Royale NP in 2008's "Winter Study" that I waited almost 2 years to finally let myself read it. I just didn't want the experience to come and go too quickly.

With "Winter Study," I definitely saw a "change a comin'." It was still the Anna I'm familiar with, but with a darker turn. I wasn't as happy with the book as I'd anticipated, but it was still pretty classic Anna.

2009's "Borderline" was almost a non-book to me. In retrospect after having read "Burn," it almost seems like "Borderline" was entirely a set-up for the new "Maternal" Anna.

Which brings us to "Burn." I can't recall having read a more off-putting book. And I can't understand why Nevada Barr felt she had to do this with Anna. She could have made this a one-off, non-series book featuring any bystander - it didn't even have to be someone in law enforcement in Anna's role.

Overall, it just appears like Nevada has found herself a pet cause, and is using her popular Anna in a novelized public service announcement about pedophilia and all its related evils.

I almost feel a bit used. I could almost hear Barr saying, "This is something I wanted to make public. To bring this to the attention of those who might not know of the existence of such evil. A 'call to action' for people to get involved in fighting pedophilia, child pornography, child prostitution."

You know, if something like that happens as a result of someone reading this book, great.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Nevada Barr for a long time. The book was very well written, hers always are. It was the subject matter that I was very upset by. Children sex-slaves and the evil ones who use them. Her last two books have been very dark,

I would not have read this book if I had known the subject, at least not now. I am a mother and a grandmother, I just can't get the images out of my mind.
11 Comments 102 of 116 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a serious Nevada Barr fan for over fifteen years. Well, lets make that a little less than fifteen years since I have not enjoyed her last few books nearly as much as her earlier ones. The release of each new Anna Pigeon novel was an eagerly awaited event. No longer. With "Burn" Nevada Barr has finally lost me, forever. Her books were favorites because of her writing skills, the anticipation of a visit to a new National Park, the wonderful descriptions of natural settings, the ongoing characters who had become like family, the good balance of plot and tension without gratuitous violence. Just enough evil, but not too much. "Burn" has none of these. If I want to read the hard boiled genre I will choose it. There are plenty of excessively dark and violent authors out there to choose from. I did not finish this book and I will read no more of Nevada Barr's books. I felt as if "Burn" should have come with a warning label; "Warning: read at your own risk. This is the new Nevada Barr, not the one you have loved for so long." Goodbye Anna Pigeon. I'll miss you, but will keep the fond memories of our long term friendship. I think I'll go back and read all of our old favorites. Savor the past and then go find a new favorite author.
2 Comments 64 of 72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
I am so disappointed in Ms. Barr. I wish that she had created a new character as her heroine for the last 3 books. That she had created a new series and left the Anna Pigeon stories to continue in the same style. I will no longer be reading her novels. They have become too dark. For me, child abuse is not entertaining. The previous Anna Pigeon books were very similar. They are light on the gore, heavy on nature and dry humor. I loved the previous characters. They were barely mentioned in this book. Where was the banter with Molly? What was the point of marrying Paul if he's barely a player? Ms. Barr has changed her writing style. I am so very disappointed. I do hope that she reads these reviews and brings the Anna stories back. I suppose there is a market for her new style. But, they are not books that I will be reading.
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