Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ray's Review: Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr

Nevada Barr will be reading and signing books on Thursday at 7:00 PM at Schuler Books, Meridian Mall, 1982 W Grand River, Okemos.
"Destroyer Angel" by award-winning author Nevada Barr (Minotaur Books, $26.99) is the latest in her exceptionally popular, best-selling series starring Park Ranger Anna Pigeon.

Scheduled for release on Tuesday, the harrowing tale is a compelling page-turner, full of riveting action and tense suspense.

This is more of a thriller than a detective novel. Anna must use all of her knowledge and skills in a deadly struggle for survival.

Set in Minnesota's upstate Iron Range area, the highly entertaining tale begins with Anna taking a much-needed vacation after a summer fighting wildfires.

She's on a camping trip/vacation joining her friend Heath (a paraplegic), Heath's 15-year-old adopted daughter Elizabeth and Leah (a wealthy outdoor equipment designer) and her 13-year-old daughter Katie.

Heath's aging dog Wily is also along for the trip, which was intended to test out a new design for camping gear for the disabled.

On the second day, Anna paddles off for a solitary canoe trip; as she comes back she hears loud voices. She realizes that her friends are being held as hostages by four heavily armed thugs.

The men plan on going through the wilderness with their captives to an airplane rendezvous site. The nasty kidnappers think this should be relatively easy, but run into unexpected delays. Their journey is complicated by difficult terrain and their unfamiliarity with the woods.

Anna is joined by the injured dog Wily as she attempts to rescue her friends by any means possible. She doesn't have any weapons or a cell phone, but she's got lots of experience in handling difficult situations.

The captive women face challenges as well, including potential sexual abuse and physical abuse. It's easy to cheer for Anna!

Barr does an outstanding job with character development; the narrative is deftly told from alternating, contrasting points of view.

This is a captivating novel laced with dark humor, a touch of the supernatural, considerable violence and gripping situations.

If you haven't followed any of Anna's earlier appearances, you won't feel too out of place by using this as a starting point and then back-tracking.

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, 
has reviewed crime novels and noir thrillers regularly since 1987.

Find this book and other great titles
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on March 30, 2014.

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