Anna Pigeon, a ranger for the U.S. Park Services, sets off on vacation―an autumn canoe trip in the to the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. With Anna is her friend Heath, a paraplegic; Heath's fifteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth; Leah, a wealthy designer of outdoor equipment; and her daughter, Katie, who is thirteen. For Heath and Leah, this is a shakedown cruise to test a new cutting edge line of camping equipment. The equipment, designed by Leah, will make camping and canoeing more accessible to disabled outdoorsmen.
On their second night out, Anna goes off on her own for a solo evening float on the Fox River. When she comes back, she finds that four thugs, armed with rifles, pistols, and knives, have taken the two women and their teenaged daughters captive. With limited resources and no access to the outside world, Anna has only two days to rescue them before her friends are either killed or flown out of the country, in Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I haven't read a Nevada Barr book in a while, and although this wasn't a horrible story, it was definitely not a compelling one either. Most of the people involved in this story were annoying or unlikeable and the whole plot seemed to revolve around what is definitely the worst of human foibles and behavior by all that went far enough beyond weird as to be ridiculous.
The bad guys didn't seem to make much sense, the purpose of their illegal activities wasn't particularly believable, and they seemed amazing stupid for the kidnapping they undertook.
This story might have been a little better if the women, including Anna Pigeon, had been a more cohesive group. Instead they were whiny, self-centered and essentially helpless. In fact, in thinking about how much this annoyed me, maybe it was a horrible story. It was essentially an endless story of this horrible thing happened, then this horrible thing happened - meanwhile, the "heroines" were whining - and...
As a big fan of the Anna Pigeon series, I couldn't have been more disappointed. I kept reading, in the hope that I would learn something about the Iron Range, and the story would get better. NOT. Did I learn a few "tricks" for surviving in the wilderness - sure. Was I rooting for the ladies - sure. But, the story was way longer than it needed to be. My biggest problem is that Ms. Barr must have had a thesaurus at her side while writing this. I consider myself to be a dot above average with words, but I don't think the average reader should have had to look up: creel, Ersatz Burnoose, swale, treacle, crepitus, basilisk, triptych, ersatz, lagniappe, stygian, hoarfrost, ordure, and the term "gangs agley." Just to name a few :) Seriously, the only character I liked was Wily, the dog.
I agree with other readers who feel that this series has seen it's zenith and is on a decline. In this latest installment things start out with a fair amount of promise but the story quickly becomes a tedious slog - literally and figuratively. Once again we must accompany Ranger Pigeon as she faces off against her own demons and human monsters while under-clothed, under-armed, and starving in a vast wilderness setting. And, spoiler alert, there is more pedophilia- a disturbing trend in Barr's Pigeon novels of late. It is a shame, in my opinion, that Anna can't become the kind of savvy older female character you want her to be; tough, cunning, and confident. Instead there is the same litany of self doubt and recrimination, the same questioning of herself, her beliefs, and her motives. If you want to read about an evolved older female character that truly inhabits her skin in a comfortable and surprisingly inspiring way read "Rage Against The Dying" by Becky Masterson...
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