Nevada Barr brings National Park Ranger Anna Pigeon to the wild beauty of Acadia National Park in the New York Times bestseller, Boar Island.
Anna Pigeon, in her career as a National Park Service ranger, has had to deal with all manner of crimes and misdemeanors, but cyberbullying and stalking are new ones. The target is Elizabeth, the adopted teenage daughter of her friend, Heath Jarrod. Elizabeth is driven to despair by the disgusting rumors spreading online and bullying texts. Until one day Heath finds her daughter, Elizabeth, in the midst of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. And then she calls in the cavalry – her aunt Gwen and her friend, Anna Pigeon.
While they try to deal with the fragile state of affairs – and find the person behind the harassment – the three adults decide the best thing to do is to remove Elizabeth from the situation. Since Anna is about to start her new post as acting chief ranger at Acadia National Park in Maine, the three will join her and stay at a house on the cliff of a small island near the park – Boar Island. But the move east doesn’t solve the problem. The stalker has followed them. And Heath (a paraplegic) and Elizabeth aren’t alone on the otherwise deserted island. At the same time, Anna has barely arrived at Acadia before a brutal murder is committed by a killer uncomfortably close to her.
Boar Island is a brilliant intertwining of past and present, of victims and killers, in a compelling audiobook that could come only from Nevada Barr.
I kept wondering—where is Anna Pigeon? She is the reason I listen to these great audiobooks. But I continued to listen—she does eventually make an appearance, though not before a number of characters have been well developed. Into the book now, it’s quite obvious this won’t be a normal Anna Pigeon book.
Protagonist Anna Pigeon is a ranger and her locations vary from park to park. There is always an interesting story, engaging mystery, depth, description, and prose. But I missed her while the other main characters were building their argument for the well-plotted twist coming. And it IS a douzy. It’s tragic. But it may come too late.
I’m a big fan of the Anna Pigeon books, so despite the fact this is a decided departure (and I wouldn’t advise beginning with it if you want to jump into the series), I enjoyed the novel ably narrated by Barbara Rosenblat—thank heaven—and will continue to look for Anna Pigeon books. I love her character, the description of our beautiful parks and all the fascinating information usually imparted regarding the region.
There are a lot of books in this series—I also reviewed Deep South and Hunting Season (loved them and sold on the series)–this was just one off. So listen to it as a standalone. The conclusion ratchets up the blood pressure and boils into a climax with a resolution you might have expected, but not quite in the way it did. Good ending. Sad. But what other way could it have gone?
Genre: Police Procedural Mysteries, Women Sleuth Mysteries, Suspense
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Listening Length: 12 hrs 18 mins
Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Boar Island
Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars
The Author: Nevada [Barr] 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.
The Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat has been narrating for more than 20 years, and even had the honor of performing the first book ever recorded at Audible in 1999.
She has also appeared on screen such as in the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black as Miss Rosa. Rosenblat was born in London, England and raised in New York City. Upon returning to the US, she read books to the blind for four years at the Library of Congress. On Broadway she appeared in The Secret Garden and Talk Radio. Barbara Rosenblat has narrated more than 400 audiobooks.
©2021 V Williams
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