Blood Lure

by Nevada Barr

Monday, February 25, 2002

Featured image for Blood Lure

Anna Pigeon is currently one of my favourite characters in literature and it feels like she’s been through a lot since I first met her on the Track of the Cat in Texas nine books ago. In this book she’s mostly lucid and sane and it’s really comforting to see her coping with the world and not putting herself into too much danger.

Though I love the character, the setting is what really makes these books and this time we are in the Glacier National Park which spans the Montana/British Columbia border. Anna is helping out on a project to collect DNA samples from grizzly bears in the park. Until, with reasonable predictability, her camp gets ravaged by a bear, people go missing, people get killed etc. and she has to get into investigator mode.

My one criticism of this book would be that it’s slow to get off the ground. Nothing much unusual happens for the first fifty pages or so and if I wasn’t so hooked on the series and so sure that something interesting was just waiting on the sidelines to happen then I might have put it down and not got back to it for a while.

Another couple of more or less random comments: there’s a plot twist here that an author wouldn’t get away with in a first book and Anna, much as I love her, might seem a bit insipid if you first meet her in this book without knowing about her past. Both of these things mean that I wouldn’t recommend jumping into this series at this point without sampling some of the earlier books.

When it got going though the plot had pretty much everything that I could have wanted. There’s a nice balance between Anna in the park and Anna in the office, the wildlife and the murder, Anna alone and Anna with friends. My favourite episode in the series remains the remarkable Firestorm but I thought this was one of the better books in the series from plot, setting and character viewpoints.