Is this Nevada Barr’s 19th book? Wow! Once a Nevada Barr fan, always a fan.
This year, when the National Park Service is celebrating its Centennial, readers should be even more in tune to national parks. So it was with eagerness that I opened Boar Island, the moment I received it for review.
For those who need a Barr primer – really ?? – here goes:
Nevada Barr was a national park ranger, working in several parks in law enforcement. That means she carried a gun and could give out citations.
Her mysteries all involve Anna Pigeon, a law enforcement ranger, who moves from park to park. Almost all of Barr’s books are set in a different national park. But Anna Pigeon, the fictional ranger, evolves from book to book. She remarries, has already turned fifty years old, and even becomes gray, without dying her hair – Yeah!
The mystery, set in Acadia National Park, consists of a good ranger, Anna, and a bad ranger, Denise. The story involves cyber bullying, retreating to a private lighthouse, and settling old scores. As with many mysteries, two completely different plot lines persist for most of the book. You know they’re going to come together. However, how they do is why Nevada Barr’s books are so entertaining.
Pigeon doesn’t pull any verbal punches. One of her best lines in Boar Island is:
One person speaking to invisible beings was a nutcase.
A thousand was a cult.
Ten thousand, a religion.
I know that this isn’t original but it still is a great concept.
She saves the attacks for real fights, which she seems to have in every book. Finally, in Boar Island, Pigeon is starting to feel the impact of accumulated injuries and her age. But she’s still a strong fifty-year woman.
Why hasn’t there been a movie or TV series based on the Anna Pigeon mysteries? A rational, fit middle-age woman with gray hair? Who would play her? No wonder there hasn’t been a film yet.
Barr’s books are always fast paced and fun. If you’ve read some of her other books, you can recognize that Pigeon’s friends come back. But you don’t have to be a Barr scholar (and I’m sure there are some) to enjoy this good read.