Review: The Rope

The Rope
The Rope by Nevada Barr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I used to love Nevada Barr, and read all of her books, and when I went out of my mystery phase, I kept picking up books, so I could restart where I left off. So there are several recent ones I haven’t read. But since this was a prequel, I felt safe in reading it. I thought it harkened back to some of my favorites, like Firestorm and A Superior Death. Like those, I was there, at Glen Canyon. Not just looking over the author’s shoulder, but there – in the desert heat, in the cold waters of the lake. She has a knack of placing you squarely in the middle of the action – in Firestorm I was in a “shake and bake” and in A Superior Death I was freezing in the lake (I grew up around there in Minnesota). She has the ability to transport me to places unknown unlike any other author I have read. That said, it was a wonderful glimpse into how Anna Pigeon got to be who she was, and why. What fires forged the Anna of the later books. The action was real. There as some foul language, but not that much, and in character I thought, and some lesbian lust, never acted on, by her roommate, but all in all, it kept me guessing as to who the real villain was. Not many to choose from really, but which one of those that fit the bill – back and forth. The action ranged from a solution hole (a big sinkhole in the mesa), to the depths of the slot canyons in Lake Powell, at Glen Canyon. Freezing in the waters at night. There wasn’t much real violence, as is true for the series in general, but what little there was was visceral. Terrifying. And the addition of “Buddy” the baby skunk, was a nice touch of lightness. At least one of the reviews on Amazon thought it was a farce or comedy, but I never got that impression at all. I thought it straightforward, although with some lightheartedness to balance the evil. Amazon readers gave it a 4 overall, but there were a lot of 5s. And I never found it not credible. My father worked as a fire ranger at Yellowstone, and my sister and her husband worked at the Grand Canyon, he was a Park Ranger, so I have some background in the parks, esp. since I got dragged to most of the ones in the Western U.S. at least once in my growing up years. 😉

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