Book Review: Endangered Species by Nevada Barr

Posted May 8, 2019 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Endangered Species by Nevada Barr

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Endangered Species by Nevada Barr
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Published by Berkley Books on November 4, 2008
Pages: 404
Format: eBook
Source: the library

Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: What Rose Forgot

Fifth in the Anna Pigeon thriller mystery series and revolving around Anna, National Park Service employee. This story takes place on Cumberland Island in Georgia.

My Take

It’s something of a slow, easy read in between action-packed scenes — nothing like a few gunshots and hostage taking to liven things up, *grin*, — as Anna slips in behind the scenes to investigate a double murder.

Stanton’s consultation with Molly over those death threats proves interesting — I’ll need to read Blind Descent to see how that romance progresses(??). As for Anna’s side of the story, motives are running amuck, and we experience them through Anna’s perspective in third person protagonist point-of-view.

That Alice is an interesting character. She comes off tough but has a practical side with a sense of humor. She certainly takes Anna’s suspicions well.

“‘I’m sorry I didn’t kill Slattery.’

‘That’s all right, ‘ Anna said generously. ‘It was just a thought.'”

Now Tabby. That girl is a pain in the patooti. Yeah, I know she’s grieving, but, jesus, what a dishrag.

Her fellow crew members have the usual interactions with Anna — all-boy with their bragging and joking. Anna takes it all as it’s meant. There is a bit of anti-woman in here, as Anna is competing with the “boys”, who are put out that they didn’t get in on the action.

Omigod. Anna doesn’t have to worry about Zach’s ashes anymore. It’s horrifying, yet funny in a gruesome way.

Nope, I gotta disagree with Candice about the Ford Probe her dad was lusting after. It may not look like a Mustang or Lamborghini, but it does drive like a sports car. I had two of ’em, and I do love to drive.

“An armed society is a polite society.” lol

And in spite of that comment, it’s a peaceful ending, in several ways.

The Story

It was supposed to be a cushy, almost vacation-like posting. But then a plane crashes, and Anna and her crew are too late to save the pilot and his passenger.

When the cause turns out to be sabotage, Anna goes on her own crusade behind the scenes, turning up too many secrets that will endanger Anna.

She’s not the only one in danger, though. Her sister, Molly, is getting her own death threats, and Frederick offers to help.

The Characters

Forty-two-year-old Anna Pigeon is a National Park Service GS-9 field ranger with EMT skills, a.k.a., Beth Cuvelier, ahem, who moves from park to park and has issues with alcohol. This time she came from Mesa Verde in Colorado. Piedmont is her orange tiger cat. Dr Molly Pigeon, a psychiatrist in New York City, is Anna’s sister with her own addiction, cigarettes. Zach had been the love of Anna’s life. She’s still carrying his ashes from park to park.

Frederick Stanton, a Chicago-based FBI agent who has worked with Anna on a couple of homicides, is dating her. Danny and Taters are his pet budgerigars. Candice is his daughter.

Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia, is…
…a cushy temporary gig for NPS employees to keep a fire watch. Todd Belfore, the district ranger and the only law enforcement ranger on Cumberland, and Tabby, Todd’s pregnant wife, live at Plum Orchard, one of the semi-derelict mansions.

Norman Hull is the Cumberland chief ranger. Renee is his secretary. Cheryl is his wife, and Ellen is their ne’er-do-well daughter. The Southeast regional director is Charley Riggs.

Guy Marshall is Anna’s crew boss on the temporary fire crew of rangers pulled from Gulf Islands, Cape Hatteras, and Rick Spencer from the Natchez Trace Parkway. Lynette Wagner is a GS-4 interpretive ranger who’s big into Jesus. Dijon Smith and Al Magnus (Jimmy is Al’s eight-year-old son) are the others.

Marty Schlessinger is a biologist with bad breath and worse manners. Mitch Hanson is a double-dipping dozer operator with Maintenance and lives on a houseboat with his wife, Louise. Slattery Hammond owns a twin-engine Beechcraft, doing work for the federal government and whose services are shared by the park and the US Forest Service. Linda Hammond is his wife; they have a son, Dylan.

The aviation safety crew
Alice Utterback is the chief investigator for Region Six. Shorty Power is the fixed-wing specialist. Wayne Pitt is the maintenance specialist.

Stafford is one of the derelict mansions with a cottage on the grounds where Mona and Dot, VIPs (Volunteers in Parks) helping with the turtle inventory, etc., live. In their real life, they’re retired schoolteachers from West Virginia who enjoy helping out. Flicka is the fawn they adopted.

St Marys is…
…the nearby town. Ms Pudge works at the hospital. Officers Mangino and King were the arresting officers. Janice also seems to work at the station. Felicity had been handling the Hull case.

Maggie May is an impressively sized alligator. Guenther and Shawna are hikers who catch a bullet.

The suspicious-seeming patients include…
James Lubbock and his hostile wife, Portia; Shelia Thomas was the not-so-gay divorcée; Nancy Bradshaw has a temper and smashes lamps; and, Lester Mack, in jail for murdering a boy, was paroled.

Mesa Verde, Colorado, is…
…where Anna is currently based. Frieda is a friend of Anna’s, the dispatcher at Mesa Verde, and the chief ranger’s secretary with more contacts than Carter’s got pills. The district ranger is Hills Dutton. Bella Meyers is the seven-year-old daughter of one of the park employees in Mesa Verde. She suffers from dwarfism Jennifer is a friend of Frieda’s.

The Cover and Title

The cover is is primarily a range of oranges from the orange-yellow sky backlighting the fuzzy ruined mansion with its lighter orange driveway. An info blurb is at the top in a cream that is used in the author’s name at the top. Below that is an airplane gauge with a white twin-engine Beechcraft flying at an angle through it. Below this is the title in a pale yellow with the series information (in cream) between the words. At the very bottom is a testimonial??

The title is those loggerhead turtles, an Endangered Species, right along with Anna.

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