Park ranger Anna Pigeon, the fortyish heroine of Barr's popular series, is back, tracking grizzlies through the unforgiving landscape of Glacier National Park as part of a scientific investigation that's outlined with more detail than anyone who's not totally fascinated by these awesome animals will care about. In fact, the description of what actually goes into the lures set to attract the bears so they can be tagged and counted is guaranteed to rumble the strongest stomach--but that's just the back story in this newest Pigeon adventure. When the mutilated body of the stepmother of one of the bear trackers turns up in a remote corner of the park, and it becomes clear that she met death at the hands of a human rather than the claws of a grizzly, Anna goes on the hunt for the killer.
Barr's strength is in depicting the natural surroundings in which her heroine finds inspiration, solace, and comfort, and she limns the gorgeous landscape of Glacier with consummate skill. But her plotting leaves much to be desired, and when she finally reveals the killer's identity, motivation, and especially his accomplice, the discriminating reader may be tempted to throw this book at the nearest teddy bear. The trick ending is too much to stomach, unless you're a grizzly who'll eat (almost) anything. Up to that point, however, there's much to appeal to Barr's fans: another beautifully drawn portrait of a piece of America's vanishing wilderness and a few hours in the company of an appealingly cranky heroine whose appreciation of it knows no bounds. --Jane Adams--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A Better Barr, May 22, 2003 Reviewer: Kevin Tipple from Plano, Texas Park Ranger Anna Pigeon is back in a recent offering from Nevada Barr entitled Blood Lure. Like the previous two novels in the series, this one is short on plot and long on character development and scenic descriptions. This latest adventure finds Anna on temporary loan from her assigned duty station on the Natchez Trace Parkway to the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Anna is thrilled to leave her patrol car back home and instead of traveling on the macadam asphalt, to be wandering the mountains once again. She has been assigned to assist with The Greater Glacier Bear DNA Project, which is designed through the use of special equipment, to collect various samples from passing bears in the high country of the park. The samples will be used to identify each bear individually, obtain an accurate count, and for other information. Anna joins a team that will work far above the tundra in one specific area of the park. Things begin to rapidly deteriorate as the camp is attacked in the night by a bear. One researcher is discovered missing and as search parties fan out, a dead body is quickly found. The cause of death is quickly established to be human, and since the park is already short staffed, Anna is reassigned to finding the killer. Her search takes her repeatedly across the scenic high vistas of the park in an almost solitary quest. The scenery and her actions are described in great detail as she slowly zeros in on the killer in a rather surprising ending. While this is by no means the best Nevada Barr can deliver, Blood Lure is certainly an improvement over her last two books, Deep South and Liberty Falling. Less neurotic and introspective, and more prone to action, it reminds me a bit of the thrills in her first Anna pigeon novel, Track Of The Cat. I hope that she is back on track and will soon work her way back to the performances of her early books in this series. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title