What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr

Book Description:

Published: September 17,2019

Format: Audio/OverDrive

In New York Times bestselling author Nevada Barr’s gripping standalone, a grandmother in her sixties emerges from a mental fog to find she’s trapped in her worst nightmare

Rose Dennis wakes up in a hospital gown, her brain in a fog, only to discover that she’s been committed to an Alzheimer’s Unit in a nursing home. With no memory of how she ended up in this position, Rose is sure that something is very wrong. When she overhears one of the administrators saying about her that she’s “not making it through the week,” Rose is convinced that if she’s to survive, she has to get out of the nursing home. She avoids taking her medication, putting on a show for the aides, then stages her escape.

The only problem is—how does she convince anyone that she’s not actually demented? Her relatives were the ones to commit her, all the legal papers were drawn up, the authorities are on the side of the nursing home, and even she isn’t sure she sounds completely sane. But any lingering doubt Rose herself might have had is erased when a would-be killer shows up in her house in the middle of the night. Now Rose knows that someone is determined to get rid of her.

With the help of her computer hacker/recluse sister Marion, thirteen-year old granddaughter Mel, and Mel’s friend Royal, Rose begins to gather her strength and fight back—to find out who is after her and take back control of her own life. But someone out there is still determined to kill Rose, and they’re holding all the cards.

Review –

The author takes a break from her bestselling series about National Park Ranger Anna Pigeon for a one-of-a-kind stand-alone that follows the adventures of a woman committed to a Memory Care Unit for dementia as she fights to claw back her life.

There’s a lot of stuff Rose Dennis doesn’t know. She doesn’t know when and how she got out of Longwood or when and how she arrived there in the first place. She’s surprised and pained when people remind her that although she grew up in New Orleans, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, with Harley, her husband of 15 years, and that he’s died. At one point she’s not even sure whether she’s sixty-eight years old or one-hundred and three. After a pair of orderlies hustle her back to Longwood, however, Rose resolves that it’s the medications she’s being fed that are sapping her powers of mind and will and vows to stop taking them and escape again, this time for keeps. Fortunately, her second attempt takes her to the home of Melanie Dennis, Harley’s levelheaded, resourceful thirteen year-old granddaughter, who’s more than ready to do whatever it takes to keep Gigi, as she calls Rose, two steps ahead of her pursuers. Unfortunately, one of those pursuers, a shadowy man armed with a knife, breaks into the old house where Rose is hiding out and tries to kill her. More adventures follow, some of them involving Rose’s hermit-like sister, Marion Bliss, who offers all the help a life spent online allows, some involving Karen Black, the hapless Longwood nurse Rose gets the better of on three separate occasions. It’s both a nuisance and a personal triumph when the media get hold of Rose’s story and label her “Gun Granny.”

The action is classic Barr.  A hit man pursuing Rose through a bedroom window and onto a rooftop ends up losing the tip of his finger. Yes, she will take a print from that digit to discover his identity. In short, Rose is every bit as feisty and fearless as Anna Pigeon. The ultimate villain is unexpected, and the larger scheme a chilling vision of how aging people can lose control over their lives. 
Though this is touted as a stand-alone, I wonder if the author will make Rose into a new series. Only time will tell. 
Great read!

 

Boar Island (Anna Pigeon #19) by Nevada Barr

Book Description:

Published: May 17, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Anna Pigeon, in her career as a National Park Service Ranger, has had to deal with all manner of crimes and misdemeanors, but cyber-bullying and stalking is a new one. 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 east. 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 novel that only Nevada Barr could write.

Review –

Boar Island is not one of my favorite books in the Anna Pigeon series, and here’s why. There are two storylines going on at the same time but to say they were related would be a stretch. The murder of a lobsterman and the cyberbullying of a teenaged girl, is interesting, but I felt more depth was needed. Also,how does the national park plays a role? This book could have been set anywhere because  there is nothing here that ties it to Acadia directly, and with a series that has in the past made the park an important element of the story, this is a serious flaw.

I did like the fact that Anna Pigeon played a background cast member rather than the series lead, because in real  life you can only be the center of attention so may times before you start to get on people’s nerves.  She does manage to get serious danger twice which added a much-needed dose of drama to an otherwise bland book.

I hope the next book is more suspenseful.

Liberty Falling (Anna Pigeon #7) by Nevada BarrA

Book Description:

Published: March 1, 2000

There is peril beneath the watchful eyes of the Lady…

When Anna Pigeon left New York City after her husband was killed, she hoped it would be forever. But now her sister Molly is clinging to life in an uptown hospital ICU, so Anna has reluctantly returned. Rooming with a friend and fellow park ranger in close quarters on Liberty Island—the small strip of land that is home to Lady Liberty—Anna spends her free time exploring the grand monument and the crumbling, overgrown, and eerie ruins in the unrestored sections of nearby Ellis Island. But the peace she seeks here is shattered when she finds herself among a crowd gathered at the Lady’s base, staring at the broken body of a teenager who fell—or was pushed—to her death.

The reason behind the youthful girl’s fatal plunge is not the only mystery alive on these historic sites—nor will hers be the only death. Hidden in a dangerous labyrinth of stone, glass, and steel are secrets Anna Pigeon is now compelled to uncover…and an insidious threat to herself and to others that could wreak havoc on a nation’s proudest day. There is peril beneath the watchful eyes of the Lady…

Review –

I ran across a book in the Anna Pigeon Series by Nevada Barr that I had not read or listened to so I jumped at the chance to listen to it in this case.

This is number seven so it’s relatively early in the series so I learned a bit more about Anna’s sister and the man she eventually married. 

This was a very pleasant read full of drama, suspense, mystery, mayhem and plenty of historical facts about the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Liberty Island.

If you haven’t read any of this series, seriously think about it. I’m looking forward to reading or listening to Boar Island, number nineteen in the series, which takes place in Maine and involves a cyber stalker.

C758484C9C9106E2B09FB2547B1149C8

86444

The Rope (Anna Pigeon Mysteries #17) by Nevada Barr

 

Book Description

Publication Date: January 17, 2012 | Series: Anna Pigeon Mysteries
 
Anna Pigeon’s first case—this is the story her fans have been clamoring for…this is where it all starts.
 
In The Rope, the latest in Nevada Barr’s bestselling novels featuring Anna Pigeon, Nevada Barr gathers together the many strings of Anna’s past and finally reveals the story that her many fans have been long asking for. In 1995 and 35 years old, fresh off the bus from New York City and nursing a broken heart, Anna Pigeon takes a decidedly unglamorous job as a seasonal employee of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. On her day off, Anna goes hiking into the park never to return. Her co-workers think she’s simply moved on—her cabin is cleaned out and her things gone. But Anna herself wakes up, trapped at the bottom of a dry natural well, naked, without supplies and no clear memory of how she found herself in this situation.
As she slowly pieces together her memory, it soon becomes clear that someone has trapped her there, in an inescapable prison, and no one knows that she is even missing. Plunged into a landscape and a plot she is unfit and untrained to handle, Anna Pigeon must muster the courage, determination and will to live that she didn’t even know she still possessed to survive, outwit and triumph.
For those legions of readers who have been entranced over the years by Park Ranger Anna Pigeon’s strength and determination and those who are new to Nevada Barr’s captivating, compelling novels, this is where it all starts.
 
Review  –
As it says in the above description, this is a prequel to all the books that have come before and we find out why and what caused Anna to start a new life as a  National Park Service Ranger. I chose the audiobook format and listened to it on my Kindle the last few days while suffering from a HORRIBLE cold.  I couldn’t read because my head hurt so bad so I laid back and let the narrator, Joyce Bean,(who does a magnificent job) take me to the Glen Canyon Recreational Area in Arizona and southern Utah and travel along with Anna on her adventures,mishaps and triumphs.  I loved it and what a great way to be sick.
 
 

Burn by Nevada Barr

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Barr’s outstanding 16th Anna Pigeon novel (after Borderline) takes the National Park Service ranger to the urban wilderness of post-Katrina New Orleans, where the Jazz National Heritage Park preserves the Big Easy’s music. Anna comes to believe that a creepy neighbor, Jordan, one of the “gutter punks” who roam the city, is a pedophile. But Jordan turns out to have another side, and his link with Clare Sullivan, a Seattle actress whose family was murdered in a fire Clare is suspected of setting, is a linchpin of Barr’s skillful plot. Anna vividly maneuvers the lurid city jungle, from a Bourbon Street strip joint, where the women have formed a family, to a brothel specializing in children. Anna also learns that appearances can deceive even the most insightful of rangers. Anna’s complex personality continues to elevate the series, and the ranger’s sojourn to New Orleans further energizes this always reliable series. 150,000 first printing.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
 
 
Review –
 
This book is very much on the dark side, dealing with children as sex slaves for sleezy men in the post Katrina city of New Orleans.  New Orleans can be dark and creepy all by itself but add the subject matter and the slimy characters that are introduced and you have a very different Anna Pigeon novel.  It was very read written and I listened to it on my Kindle and don’t regret spending the credit.  Not all book are going to be sunshine and roses and  it’s the dark ones that round out a reading experience.  The new book,The Rope,will  be released in 2012 and I can’t wait.
 

Borderline by Nevada Barr

 

 

From Booklist

Unable to shake the despondency and self-doubt that settled on her after her horrific experiences at Isle Royale (Winter Study, 2008), Anna is put on administrative leave. In a move designed to help her recover, her husband arranges to take her on a guided rafting trip in Big Bend National Park, which straddles the border between Texas and Mexico. Their companions are four college students. Within hours of their departure, the raft careens into rocks and is lost. The occupants have barely recovered from the shock when one of them makes a gruesome discovery: the body of a very pregnant woman caught among tangled branches. Though unable to save the woman, Anna saves the child, whose welfare becomes her mission. Unfortunately, some people have other plans for the tiny new life and the struggling rafters. A riveting series of gut-wrenching events heads the book, winding down about midway as the personalities on shore and the mystery surrounding the child come into focus. Barr is less successful than usual in masking her evildoers, but her extraordinary ability to create electrifying drama in the natural world is unequivocal, as is her compelling portrait of Anna—real enough to touch as she struggles to regain her confidence, her enthusiasm, and her sense of self. –Stephanie Zvirin
 
 
 
Review –
 
I’m beginning to get a little sad because after this book there is only one more in the series that I haven’t read and then I will have to wait until next year for the new one to be released.  I don’t know what it is about these books that makes me love them so much; I am not an active person, I don’t like the outdoors all that much but yet I am drawn to these stories. I think it may be the main character, Anna Pigeon, because she embodies all that any woman would hope to be – strong, yet soft enough to have a male interested, good to the bone,aggressive and compassionate, just a well-rounded human being.   We need more Anna Pigeons.
 

 

Winter Study by Nevada Barr

 

From Booklist

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
 
Review –
 
I don’t know what Nationa Park  Ranger Anna Pigeon is going to do if her ankle gets hurts one more time.  Just a couple of books back her ankle was hurt almost beyond repair (okay, not quite that bad) and now she gets it hit had with a wrench by a very bad man.   I love these books and can’t wait to start the next one.
If you haven’t tried the Anna Pigeon series you really need to give them a try.  You won’t be sorry.
 

 

 

The Hard Truth by Nevada Barr

 

 

 

From Publishers Weekly

In Barr’s taut 13th thriller to feature Anna Pigeon (after 2004’s High Country), the 50-ish National Park Service ranger leaves her new husband, Paul, back in Mississippi, to assume a new post in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, where she encounters a serial killer and a strong, determined woman, Heath Jarrod, much like herself. Heath, a former ice climber now confined to a wheelchair after a near-fatal fall, feels depressed, isolated and helpless. She’s camping in the national park with her physician, who’s also her aunt, when a pair of battered young girls, two of three missing from a nearby religious retreat, appear at the campsite. Heath and Anna at first dislike one another, but join forces to break the silence enforced by the retreat’s domineering head and discover why the youngsters vanished, who took them, where they were and what happened to the third girl. Barr skillfully weaves contemporary issues of parental responsibility, religious and political separatism, and sexual abuse into her harrowing story. She carefully sets the scene in the first part of the book, which builds to a spectacular climax that pits Anna against evil incarnate. Noted for her precise plotting and atmospheric descriptions of nature, Barr again proves her skill in putting believable characters in peril against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
 
 
Review –
 
This time  Anna Pigeon is in the Rockies and what a mess she gets into this time.
 
Loved  it and have started the next one.  Great series.
 

 

The High Country by Nevada Barr

 

 

From Publishers Weekly

The serene snow country suddenly turns deadly for Anna Pigeon in Barr’s riveting 12th novel to feature the intrepid National Park Service ranger (after 2003’s Flashback). On assignment to locate four young park employees who went missing in a fierce storm, the 50ish Anna is working undercover as a waitress at Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel, where she must deal not only with an exacting supervisor and a surly head chef but also share a dorm with 20-something roommates. Evoking the stunning beauty of the park in winter, Barr contrasts the relative safety of Yosemite Valley with the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains into which Anna treks in search of the missing kids. Danger crackles like ice on the frozen lake where she finds a partially submerged plane loaded with drugs. Attacked by vicious poachers, Anna flees into the absolute, terrifying darkness for an ordeal that will keep readers eagerly turning the pages. So well done is this nail-biting sequence that the resolution can come only as something of a letdown. Barr has a true gift for outdoor writing, using the lush snow as natural cover for the violent life in the wild as well as among the park’s human custodians. Anyone contemplating a nice winter hike will think twice after entering the wilderness with Anna, but her fans always come back for more.
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.

 
Review –
 
Another great book about Park Ranger Anna Pigeon and her adventures inside our National Parks, this time Yosemite.  Love this series!
 
 

Flashback by Nevada Barr

From Publishers Weekly

When it comes to a vibrant sense of place, Barr has few equals, as deliciously demonstrated in her 11th Anna Pigeon novel (after 2002’s Hunting Season), set in little-known Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles off Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. Anna takes up her new post on Garden Key, home to Fort Jefferson, a notorious Union prison during the Civil War, after fleeing a marriage proposal from just-divorced Sheriff Paul Davidson. As she goes about her duties, Anna quickly becomes ensnared in one life-threatening situation after another. Anna’s fans expect no less; all her postings somehow turn dangerous. Indeed, the contrast between the natural beauty of the landscapes and the human evils within them is a recurring theme. But this one has an added twist: a mystery concerning alleged Lincoln assassination conspirator Dr. Samuel Mudd interweaves with current crimes. In a coincidence best left unscrutinized, Anna’s great-great-great-aunt was the wife of the fort’s commanding officer, and her letters, relating a story of intrigue and murder, have surfaced. The two stories are told in alternating chapters, and only Barr’s skill keeps this familiar device fresh. The pitch-perfect 19th-century phrasing in the letters makes it easy to forgive the occasional over-the-top prose in the modern scenes. But this is a quibble. Those who already admire the doughty National Park ranger will rejoice in this double-layered story with its remarkable setting, passionately rendered; new readers have a treat in store.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
 
Review –
 
This story turned out to be one of my favorites of the Anna Pigeon novels because of the description, the characters and the interaction between them and the emotions running wild the whole time.