Far from it. The story tells of two women and their daughters who were starting a canoeing and camping trip in upper Minnesota. Lucky for them, park ranger, Anna Pigeon was also on the trip.
Fortunately, Anna wasn't in camp when four gangsters kidnapped the women. The kidnappers plan is to get the women to a landing site not far away. This way they can be picked up by an airplane and proceed with getting a ransom payment. However, one of the women is a paraplegic and the leader of the gang is ready to kill her rather than go through the trouble to get her to the landing site when one of the women's daughters tells them that the woman's family has lots of money and it would be worth their while to kidnap her too.
Of the four women, one adult is a paraplegic and the other adult is the brains behind a company who has designed a wheelchair that can be used in a wilderness setting. They are accompanied by their daughters. The hoodlums had been told that there would be another woman in their group but when asked, the other women tell them that the other member of the planned group changed her mind.
Anna is late getting to the camp and sees what has transpired. She observes the plight of the women and although she is unarmed, she is like a Rambo character in that she goes up against four hoods without a weapon.
The leader of the group uses his cell phone to tell the person who will pay them that the women are captured and to send the plane.
Anna's survival skills are first manifested as she braves the cold and awaits her opportunity to get the best of the criminals. The women have to endure many things such as the sexual advances of one of the men, the hard terrain and the physical abuse of the men. They must also overcome the wilderness. Cries that might be from wolves or a dog the men injured and left for dead, are enough to unhinge one of their members who was a city dweller and afraid of what he might find in the woods.
Nevada Barr has brought her readers, Anna Pigeon, a woman who can survive in a world where men are unscrupulous and avaricious. Anna is smart, brave, and willing to do what it takes to save her friends.
As Anna follows her friends, awaiting an opportunity to save them, she speaks to the dog she has rescued. In this, she is like literature's Inspector Ian Rutledge who speaks to the ghost of his deceased friend Hamish.
Readers will enjoy the story and the character build up where we see the motivation of the criminals and the bravery of the women. However, I did have difficulty imagining a wheelchair bound woman traveling over rocky trails and crossing icy waters.
The author did a good job in telling the story from different points of view. We get Anna's thoughts and actions and also those of the leader of the gang and from the designer of the wilderness wheelchair. These points of view allows the reader to see the story unfold as if we were on the scene.