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Winter Study (An Anna Pigeon Novel) Paperback – April 7, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Barr's chilling 14th mystery thriller to feature National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon (after 2005's Hard Truth), Anna joins the team of Winter Study, a research project intended to study the wolves and moose of Michigan's Isle Royale National Park, the setting for 1994's A Superior Death. Complicating the study is Bob Menechinn, an untrustworthy Homeland Security officer assigned to shadow the research. Crowded into inhospitable lodgings and persecuted by unrelenting cold, Anna is far from her comfort zone as nature turns awry with a series of bizarre events. The team stumbles upon the tracks—and the mutilated victim—of a preternaturally large, unidentified beast, and local packs of wolves descend on human-populated areas, a behavior out of step with their species. The campfire legends of youth metastasize into adult fears as Anna must piece together a connection between these anomalies while guarding herself from the strangers around her. Barr's visceral descriptions of the winter cold nicely complement the paranoia that follows the appearance of the mythic monsters at play. Author tour. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Readers who have followed intrepid forest ranger Anna Pigeon fighting forest fires, crawling through caves, investigating crimes at national monuments, and tracking bears in service of our National Park system will find her back almost where she began, at Isle Royale National Park. Unlike her earlier visit (A Superior Death, 2003), however, this one takes place during the dead of winter, when the park is usually closed to all but the wolves and moose and the researchers who have been studying them in their unique environment. This year, however, tension is high; Homeland Security may shut down the winter study project, which has been going on for 50 years. But Anna, in her usual role as Park Service interloper-emissary (“How would you like to snowshoe over rough terrain, collecting blood-fat ticks and moose piss?”) suspects that there’s more at stake here than the study, and when murder intrudes, she knows she’s right. The environmental quotient in Barr’s novels is always high; the facts about wolves are fascinating, as are descriptions of frigid landscape, alternately beautiful and horrifying. There’s plenty of drama, too, as Anna finds herself alone and in danger more than once, but what many readers return to this series for is Anna herself, strong, funny, perceptive, and well aware that she is a small part of a dynamic, ever-changing natural world. --Stephanie Zvirin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The whole reading experience was deliciously claustrophobic - the small hut in the isolated deep woods of snow and sleet. The "winter study" of the title had to do with wolf survival, and Anna is a real fan of wolves, like the others in the story. But all of their goals for the "winter study" are different, and this is the basis and impetus for the mystery.
Some of the elements of the story were a bit OTT, but still did not cancel out my enjoyment of the story. This was a good book for a snowy night, and I did have fun reading about Anna's snowy challenges - even though I could not easily accept some of her super-human survival tactics. Still, I think she is worthy of 5-STARS.
Anna never likes being cooped up with other people. The bunkhouse is particularly claustrophobic. It doesn't help that the atmosphere among the team members is quickly growing uneasy. Even nature feels off balance to Anna. The wolves aren't acting normal, and there seems to be a monster wolf prowling the woods...
Anna is always on the verge of freezing to death in this novel. And the team keeps shrinking as people die freakishly or disappear mysteriously. The dissection of a dead wolf produces blood and gore that prefigures more blood and gore. And there are multiple crisis endings. If you like suspense, you'll love this. If not, be prepared to suffer.
I never guessed the machinations behind the sinister doings, or who was up to what. Which is always a plus in a mystery. Anna finally figures it all out, and maybe you can too, but I didn't.
As usual, Anna has multiple opportunities to get battered by man and nature, to escape death at the last minute, and to demonstrate that a small but smart woman can eventually overcome a hostile male of greater size.
Plenty of thrills and chills in Winter Study. You may want to get under a blanket to read it.
Just wish there were more of them....
Most recent customer reviews
A great writer!!!