Thursday, November 6, 2014

Destroyer Angel - Nevada Barr


Nevada Barr doesn't churn out Anna Pigeon books fast enough for me.  However, I missed this newest one, the 18th in the series, when it first came out.  Anna Pigeon is aging but is back in top form.  I race through these books.  If I'm ever lost in the woods, I want Anna with me.  Wait, with Anna with me, I'd never get lost in the woods!

Anna Pigeon is an independent woman married to an ex-sheriff Episcopalian priest.  She's not much of a God person.  They have a mutually respectful and understanding relationship and are crazy in love.  They don't agree on a lot of things, but they agree to disagree.  Anna is the kind of woman who needs solitude and is regenerated by her connection with nature.  She has been a National Park Service ranger for years and has been stationed in parks from Colorado to Key West to Michigan and more, spending a great deal of time fighting forest fires, trying to teach people how to behave in our national forests, and rescuing people who don't listen to her.  There is a progression to this series, so it's nice if you can read them in order but it's not necessary.

A group of women and girls  -  two mothers, one a paraplegic, and their teenage daughters  -  and Anna go off on a camping trip in Minnesota.  They also have Wily, an older family dog.  The paraplegic is trying out a new rugged terrain wheelchair that one of the other women invented.  The inventor is along to assess its success.  While Anna is off on a solitary canoe ride, four men appear in the camp and take the women hostage.  The dog is kicked to the side when he tries to protect them.

Anna hears the screams of the women and returns to suss out the situation.  She's left her gun back home, but she always has her instincts and her nature skills with her.  The men start marching the group to a rendezvous at an air strip in the woods.  They are kidnapping the inventor and her daughter because she has millions of dollars.  Later, it seems the leader of the group has a more personal interest in her.

It's touch and go for a while, with Anna trailing the kidnappers and their hostages.  The men are mostly city men, not used to trekking through the woods.  They also don't know Anna is out there and will do whatever she has to to rescue the women.  I love that she always knows what to do and does it.  She pushes herself far beyond what most of us could do, both physically and mentally.

From page one, this is an exciting book.  I was rude to my husband ('can't you see I'm trying to read?!') because all I wanted to do was finish the book.  Except now I have to wait for another couple of years for the next one.  At least I hope there will be a next one.

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