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Destroyer Angel: An Anna Pigeon Novel (Anna Pigeon Mysteries) Hardcover – April 1, 2014
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When her friend Heath (Hard Truth, 2005), a paraplegic, agrees to road test a wheelchair poised to revolutionize the sports-gear market, park-ranger Anna Pigeon guides Heath; her daughter, Elizabeth; the chair’s designer, Leah; and Leah’s daughter on a trek in Minnesota’s Iron Mountains. It’s all fresh air and fireside chats until four armed men suddenly appear and abduct the hikers. Anna returns from a canoe jaunt to discover her friends held at gunpoint and stays hidden so that she can track them, seizing every opportunity to help her friends. Meanwhile, Heath struggles to survive the off-trail hike and protect the girls. With no cellular reception, Anna’s cunning strikes are the only hope for rescue, and she ferociously, sometimes savagely, harnesses the rules of the wild to even the odds. Anna Pigeon’s eighteenth adventure is equal parts psychological thriller and wilderness-survival tale sure to please series followers with a darker, no-holds-barred look at the emotional impact of Anna’s survival instinct, while beckoning newcomers with top-tier white-knuckle suspense. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: When publishers use the phrase “National One-Day Laydown,” they are not calling for universal nap time. The term is reserved for all-out sales blitzes (á la Harry Potter) in which a new book is made available simultaneously throughout the country. It’s a testament to Barr’s popularity that her new novel will be getting the one-day laydown treatment. Move your blankie, Rowling; Barr wants a nap, too. --Christine Tran
“A harrowing survival story, well imagined and forcefully told, about a brutal act that inspires a weak woman to become a strong one.” ―Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review, on The Rope
“Gripping . . . suspenseful . . . a tightly coiled story about trust and rebuilding a life, set against a stunning landscape.” ―Sun Sentinel on The Rope
“Barr writes with a cool steady hand about the violence of nature and the cruelty of man.” ―New York Times Book Review
“Outstanding . . . Anna's complex personality continues to elevate the series. ” ―Publishers Weekly (starred) on Burn
“Nevada Barr is one of the best.” ―The Boston Globe
“Another awesome winner for Barr!” ―Library Journal on The Rope
“A fast-moving, unforgettable tale.” ―Times-Picayune (New Orleans) on The Rope
“Barr creates possibly her most riveting story yet.” ―Charlotte Observer on Burn
Top customer reviews
The bad guys didn't seem to make much sense, the purpose of their illegal activities wasn't particularly believable, and they seemed amazing stupid for the kidnapping they undertook.
This story might have been a little better if the women, including Anna Pigeon, had been a more cohesive group. Instead they were whiny, self-centered and essentially helpless. In fact, in thinking about how much this annoyed me, maybe it was a horrible story. It was essentially an endless story of this horrible thing happened, then this horrible thing happened - meanwhile, the "heroines" were whining - and then this horrible thing happened.
If you love Nevada Barr, maybe you'll like this book - but I'd advise borrowing it from the library instead of buying it. It's just not worth the money.
I guess I'll just go back to anticipating the NEXT Anna Pigeon adventure, and hope that Ms. Barr returns to what she has previously done so well - give us a National Park adventure with this brilliant, strong protagonist front and center.
Once past being bogged down, the tale of the unclear purpose of the men becomes slowly more clear, but doesn't reveal itself completely. The troop of people get moving through the woods, and the story resumes its progress too.
None of the women has had an experience of this kind, though one of them did survive cruel treatment at a young age. It's a learning experience, a revealing experience for each of them. Their fortitude is tested; their resilience is revealed and challenged; self-pity is acknowledged and examined.
Meanwhile, all eight of them march, struggle and straggle through early Fall thickly wooded northern Minnesota woods, where the night sounds, mysteries and chill scares and threatens, men and women alike. One of the destroyer angels of our story, the fifth woman of the camping, vacationing five, away from her friends when the wicked fellows enters the women's encampment, tracks the eight. She's the one with the back-country experience, demonstrating her skills, patiently waiting to provide help when possible. Her silent and unseen tracking aids her and her friends in fear-generating ways for the men.
The physical punishment and emotional assaults the captives suffer appears impossible to withstand. Is that a statement more about me, and my perception of them being women and less capable of weathering their ordeal than men? That's possible. Three of the women endure what seems like unendurable abuse, yet they all stagger forward.
Nearly all the men in the story are contemptible, at best. That's not just the men in the woods. Men may hold the women hostage; yet they feel fear greater than the women. The women are remarkable. It's reasonable to call "Destroyer Angel" a feminist back-country tale about tough and strong young and adult women done well.