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Borderline (Anna Pigeon Mysteries) by Nevada…

Borderline (Anna Pigeon Mysteries) (edition 2009)

by Nevada Barr

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6873113,880 (3.76)33
Title:Borderline (Anna Pigeon Mysteries)
Authors:Nevada Barr
Info:Putnam Adult (2009), Hardcover, 399 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:Fiction, Crime fiction

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Borderline by Nevada Barr

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??for the book ???? for the audio recording, rounded up to 3 stars

Anna and her husband, Paul, are on a river rafting trip in Texas while she is on leave following something that happens in the previous novel when Anna insists they rescue a starving cow. While doing this, it begins to rain, the river rises and even though they get the cow onto their raft, they end up in an accident, with no raft or supplies. One of the college students begins to scream because she has found late term pregnant woman, seemingly dead, in the river. Thus begins more of the suspense, killings and crazy actions. In the meantime, a city mayor is staying nearby because she is planning to announce her campaign for state government and she is getting herself out there. She and her husband, childless, stay in separate rooms, and her aging head of security, a former member of the secret service, is concerned her in a fatherly way as he has known her since she was a preschooler. Naturally, we realize from early on that somehow, somewhere, these two seemingly disparate stories have to join together, and of course they do, since one immediate tie in is that this rafting trip occurs on a river that borders Mexico and Texas, and one of the hot political topics is the border which has been closed since 9/11.

I found this while looking through my library’s small playaway section, so it’s not something I’d normally read in print, and I had no idea it was about this Anna Pigeon I’d read reviews about since I didn’t read the tiny print that closely; I wanted something to listen to while gardening. Barbara Rosenblat has a large speaking range and so does a fabulous job of men’s voices for a woman and okay with women’s. She tends to make virtually every woman sound just a bit Hispanic with certain words, which wasn’t a always correct for the characters, but you don’t hear that during the narrative parts.

This novel is more grisly and dark than I like my mysteries, but apparently this series gets more grisly as it goes along, and this is one of the latest installments.
( )
  Karin7 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Anna Pigeon is on administrative leave following the events at Isle Royale so she and her husband decide to take a river rafting trip in Big Bend National Park. Things take a turn for the sinister when the party discovers a nearly drowned very pregnant woman in the river. I really enjoy Nevada Barr's books. This one was good but not the nail biter ending that some of her books have. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
A one-day beach read. Love those.
An interesting story that was a quick read despite the number of melding plotlines. I liked the consistency in the characters' traits, even if they weren't overall good ones. Barr's writing usually makes me want to visit the national parks, but not sure she sold me on Big Bend ( )
  skinglist | Jul 12, 2015 |
Anna Pigeon. Diagonsed with post tramatic stress disorder & on administrative leave ordered by her superintendent Anna & husband Paul go to southweat TX for a little R&R. A lost raft with a college student, a half drowned pregnant woman sucks her into a labyrith of intrigue that leads from the Mexican desert to the steps of the Governor's Mansion in austin. ( )
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  Tutter | Feb 26, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (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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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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