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Borderline (Anna Pigeon Mysteries) by Nevada…
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Borderline (Anna Pigeon Mysteries) (edition 2009)

by Nevada Barr

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6212815,671 (3.8)31
Member:dclay
Title:Borderline (Anna Pigeon Mysteries)
Authors:Nevada Barr
Info:Putnam Adult (2009), Hardcover, 399 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Crime fiction

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Borderline by Nevada Barr

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Borderline, the 15th instalment of its series, opens with Anna Pigeon, a Ranger with the US National Parks Service, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder due to an incident in which she killed someone. As part of her self-prescribed treatment she and her husband Paul take a rafting trek down the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park, Texas. Their tour group, four college students and a guide in addition to the couple, stumble upon a near-dead pregnant woman who, they think, was probably crossing the river from Mexico so her baby could be born in America.

Happily I was not disappointed in my search for a book with a strong sense of place. The physical grandeur of the Rio Grande and its surroundings is quite spectacularly brought to life by Barr and I felt as if I was travelling in the raft, staring up at the canyon walls and keeping a wary eye out for flash floods. But the book also has a wider sense of its location on the border between the US and Mexico: a place of racial tension where the politics surrounding illegal immigration into the US is most keenly observed. Although the book did take a side on this hot button political issue it did so sensitively and as a natural part of the story which I found a refreshing change from being preached at which has happened several times in my recent reading.

The other aspect of Borderline I found quite captivating was the depth of the characterisations. I knew nothing about Anna Pigeon heading into the story but I felt enough information was provided to give me a sense of her history. The depiction of her coming to terms with the shooting incident, her status as a ‘mere’ woman rather than a ranger, her relatively new marriage after many years of independence and her decision never to have children were played out against the backdrop of danger and adventure that Pigeon seems to thrive on. Another self-aware character was Darden White, the 63-year-old head of security for the Mayor of Huston who is in the Park to announce her run for Governor of Texas. White queries his own abilities as he ages as well as his devotion to the Mayor, who he used to babysit when she was a child, and Even the teenage ,products of the Barney generation, are quite thoroughly fleshed out and easily become people I wanted to read more about.

My one slight disappointment with the book is that in parts there was only a cursory attention to plot, especially in the second half which takes place after the rafting group leaves the river. It is revealed rather clumsily that the pregnant woman in the river was the victim of a crime but ultimately the culprit reveals themselves rather than being uncovered through any sleuthing, professional or otherwise, and the ending includes a disappointing thriller-style car chase that is at odds with the sensitivity shown earlier.

Overall though I enjoyed meeting Anna Pigeon and loved spending a few hours in a spectacular part of the world I have not (yet) visited. To top it off Barbara Rosenblat’s narration was delightful, capturing the wry, slightly cynical tone that perfectly matched the picture of Pigeon depicted in the story told from her point of view. ( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
This book picks up after a horrific experience on Wolf Isle, in the last book, and starts off with Anna experiencing PTSD from that episode in her life. It had left me, as a reader, pretty raw, too, so was glad to have the opportunity to work through some of that mayhem. It also gave Anna and new husband, Paul, (a character I really like), an actual opportunity to be in the same location. That a rafting adventure quickly turns into its own disaster was not exactly the vacation Anna and Paul had been looking for, but did allow for growth and healing in its own weird way. Good characters, interesting to see Anna's views on infants, some political awareness of situations at the US/MExico border, and enough smarmy characters to keep a reader occupied. ( )
  bookczuk | Mar 15, 2013 |
Borrowed from a friend. Read April 2012. As usual, a page turner. Liked her newest book, The Rope. ( )
  pgbirdlet | Apr 13, 2012 |
Ranger, Anna Pigeon, on medical leave for PTSD, goes on a river raft trip down the Rio Grande with her husband. Leisure turns to disaster as someone is shot, and then a flashflood leaves them without supplies and a raft. This is further complicated by the discovery of a dying, very pregnant woman. Anna does a c-section before they are rescued. Mystery and intrigue ensue as many people try to get the baby for all sorts of reasons. ( )
  LivelyLady | Dec 13, 2011 |
This is my first first Nevada Barr. I very much like her Anna Pigeon park ranger character. She's tortured by thoughts of violence, of course, as all law officers are supposed to be, she's very physically confident, observant, articulate and no nonsense. It was a pleasure to meet her mixed with a less than pleasant birth scene, a suffering cow, whiny college students, humorous college students, Texas politicians, immigration policy and a great description of rafting and rivers. I won't make a steady diet of her, but I bet I'll visit her again once in a while. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Aug 28, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Barr hits her stride whenever Anna is actually on the river.... But nothing else seems to inspire Barr, and the novel’s lame plotting, with its obvious villains, is a comedown from her usual impeccable storytelling.
 
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For Kendall, who gave us a magical dog
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Book description
New York Times–bestselling author Nevada Barr delivers another extraordinary Anna Pigeon novel set in the wide open vistas of southwestern Texas.

The killings on Isle Royale have left Anna drained and haunted, her memories of her time with the wolf study group forever marred by the carnage on the island. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, she is on administrative leave, per her superintendent's urging. Anna wonders if the leave might not be permanent, either by her own choice or that of the National Park Service. The one bright spot in Anna's life is Paul, her husband of less than a year. Hoping the warmth and the adventure of a raft trip in Big Bend National Park will lift her spirits, Paul takes Anna to southwest Texas, where the sun is hot and the Rio Grande is running high. The sheer beauty of the Chihuahuan Desert and the power of the river work their magic—until the raft is lost in the rapids and a young college student falls overboard, resulting in an even more grisly discovery. Caught in a strainer between two boulders and more dead than alive, is a pregnant woman, hair and arms tangled in the downed branches. Instead of the soul-soothing experience they'd longed for, Anna and Paul find themselves sucked into a labyrinth of intrigue that leads from the Mexican desert to the steps of the Governor's Mansion in Austin, Texas.
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Hoping the adventure of a raft trip in Big Bend National Park will lift her spirits, Paul takes Anna to southwest Texas. Instead of the soul-soothing experience they'd longed for, the couple finds a pregnant woman--more dead than alive--and soon they are sucked into a labyrinth of intrigue that leads from the Mexican desert to the steps of the Governor's Mansion in Austin.… (more)

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