Monday, May 9, 2011

A Superior Death

I am so glad that I went back to this series. The first book, Track of the Cat, was very good, but I am beginning to think that I liked this one better. Nevada Barr has a way of drawing in the reader in from the very beginning and holding your full attention straight through to the end. Even if you think you have figured out where she is going, you still hold on to each word in case there is something there that you might not have picked up on in the beginning, but you are darn sure you want to know in the end.

This time Anna Pigeon has been reassigned to Isle Royale in Lake Superior, hence the name, where one of her assigned duties is watching over the Kamloops, a vessel that sunk in 1927 with 5 sailors on board. Well, that is what she has been told, but up comes a diver swearing that there are six men down there. Now Anna is not a big fan of deep diving considering the fact that if you come up too quickly the closest decompression chamber is two very painful hours away. That is if you do not die in the mean time.

Yep, there is an extra body down there and why is he wearing an old-fashioned sailor’s uniform. Darn, the peaceful summer with the entertaining wildlife and the adventuresome scuba diving tourists just got a whole lot more troublesome.

This is not the only story going on. Nope, that would be too easy for Anna. You also have the missing wife of a fellow ranger, you have a head twisting “what did you say” relationship involving Hawk and Holly who are members of a dive team and you have a young incorrigible named Carrie Ann who keeps sneaking off to the utter frustration of her mother.

I know it sounds like a lot to keep track of, but Ms Barr writes each character so clearly that the only confusion that I had was which boat belonged to whom.

Without being repetitive, there are occasional get-caught-up sections where things are re-analyzed, much in the thinking aloud concept where the reader says “oh, that’s right, that makes sense”. The who-done-it part is not apparent from the beginning and the reader is lead down many different paths as Anna herself is trying to figure it all out at the same time.

I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely move the next in the series up on my list. The books are not deep, but they are twisty so you will have to pay attention.


mike draper said...

I've been a fan of this author for a long time. I'm putting this book on my list. Thanks for the review.

katknit said...

Anna's an appealing character, and Barr's a good writer. These are intelligent, interesting mysteries, and I'll put this one on my list.Thanks, N.

Karen Joan said...

Definitely one for the list. Thanks for the great recommendation!