Thursday, March 13, 2014

Devil or Angel



My first thought in seeing the title of Nevada Barr's latest novel was that it might have a religious context.

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.



          This is for an advanced review readers copy

22 comments:

Donna Safford said...

I have completed the requirements to enter the giveaway. Thanks!
dsafford001@gmail.com

Small Footprints said...

This looks like a great read! Thank you for hosting the giveaway. I've completed the requirements. :-)
reducefootprints at gmail dot com

Barbara said...

I completed the requirements. Please enter me in the Nevada Barr book giveaway. Thanks.

geogirl459@aol.com

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

The review sounds like a book I would enjoy.
I am not entering to win, I live in Canada.
I am so glad you are feeling better.
Best wishes to you and your wife.
Marjorie

Margie said...

I completed the requirements. I enjoy Nevada Barr books, but it has been a long time since I read one.
Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

skkorman said...

Thanks for another great review, Mike! Steps 1 & 2 are complete!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Michael Draper said...

Thanks to everyone who has entered the giveaway and for your nice comments.

missbiss said...

Steps 1 and 2 complete! Thanks!
canfield.carrie@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Completed 1& 2. Have read all Nevada Barr's books,

nanasf@comcast.net

Ann Goplen said...

i have completed requirements! thanks. annscactus@gmail.com

review was very helpful- after the new orleans book she did, have some trepidations about reading future works but this looks good.

Pat Hirayama said...

Done with 1 & 2! Thanks! phirayam@yahoo.com

lamalady said...

I've completed the requirements, thanks! Love her novels!! lamalady@twcny.rr.com

Unknown said...

I completed the requirements to enter the giveaway. I have read all of her books and am looking forward to this one. Thanks. dtaber1@gmail.com

Unknown said...

I completed the requirements to enter the giveaway. I have read all of her books and am looking forward to this one. Thanks. dtaber1@gmail.com

PDXPete said...

Thanks very much Mike. I am a huge Nevada Barr fan. I completed step one and two. Please enter me in the book give away. pwbowling@gmail.com

PDXPete said...

I have completed steps one and two. Please enter me in the book give away. pwbowling@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I've completed steps 1 & 2
unicorn953@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I have completed steps 1&2 .
I also enjoyed your blog.
fancyfree1950@yahoo.com

Mr. Pete said...

I completed all requirements to enter the giveaway. I have read all of Nevada Barr's books and would love to read this one. Pick me!
pblake99@gmail.com

Regina Ivie said...

Steps 1 and 2 complete! Thanks for the review.
regina.ivie@gmail.com

Michael Draper said...

Thanks to everyone for entering this giveaway.
The winner is Regina Ivie, I hope she enjoys this book.

There is a giveaway for Randy Wayne White's novel, "Bone Deep" please check that on my blog.

Sincerely,
Mike

Regina Ivie said...

Thanks for the giveaway! This will be my first Nevada Barr book to read, from your review it sounds like I will love her books.

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