Title: Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon Mysteries)
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publication Date: 1998
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition; First Printing.
Excellent copy; 1 x 9.2 x 6.1 Inches; 341 pages; Signed by Author; Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 87455
Synopsis: "Hands down, Anna Pigeon is the most complex protagonist in crime fiction," proclaimed the Philadelphia Inquirer of the heroine of last year's Endangered Species. "Barr possesses that rare combination of talents: she can write a beautiful sentence and she can create a first-rate mystery," said Publishers Weekly. In Blind Descent, Anna Pigeon faces personal demons as well as life-threatening dangers in an untamed underground wilderness for which neither training nor her love of the outdoors has prepared her. Lechuguilla Cavern is a man-eating cave discovered in New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the mid-1980s. Estimated to extend for more than three hundred miles, only ninety of them mapped, the cave was formed by acid burning away the limestone; corridors, pits, cramped wormholes, cliffs and splendid rooms the size of football fields tangle together in a maze shrouded in the utter darkness of the underground. When a fellow ranger is injured in a caving accident, Anna swallows her paralyzing fear of small spaces and descends into Lechuguilla to help a friend in need. Worse than the claustrophobia that haunts her are the signs-some natural, and some, more ominously, man-made-that not everyone is destined to emerge from this wondrous living tomb. All the skills Anna has honed in the terrestrial world are called into play on precipitous climbs, exhausting treks, and descents into canyons that have never seen the sun. The terrain is alien and hostile, the greed and destructive powers of mankind all too familiar. In this place of internal terrors, Anna must learn whom she can trust, and, in the end, decide who is to live and who is to die.
Review: Feisty, resourceful forest ranger Anna Pigeon faced everything from raging fires to deep-water dives with cool aplomb in her first five adventures. Very early in Blind Descent her courage is put to an even greater test when she learns that a woman seriously injured while exploring a cave next door to New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns is a friend who has requested Pigeon's help in getting her out. "A chilling image filled Anna's mind: herself crouched and whimpering, fear pouring like poison through her limbs, shutting down her brain as the cave closed in around her." Pushing aside her fears, Pigeon takes the plunge, leading readers through a truly harrowing series of tight squeezes. Nevada Barr is so good at involving us in Anna's terror that when she finally resurfaces, we share her "unadulterated joy. Even the dirt smelled alive... When she saw her first stars, she croaked out her delight from tired lungs." Above ground, Anna quickly gets involved in two possibly linked murders and becomes a rifleman's target. As we share the progress of her investigation, a sneaky suspicion starts to grow of possible suspects within the small community of spelunkers and National Park Service bureaucrats. Barr couldn't possibly ask Anna to go back underground again, could she? When it happens, of course, it seems inevitable--and just as frightening as the first time.
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