Excerpt from Blood Lure by Nevada Barr, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Blood Lure

By Nevada Barr

Blood Lure
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Jan 2001,
    336 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2002,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The predictability of the surroundings had dulled Anna's natural curiosity. Remembering now her suspicion as to her hostess's family leanings, she took off the drugstore half-glasses she'd finally admitted to needing for close work and looked around the compact living area.

On top of the television, between a Kokopelli doll standing on an ojo de Dios and the skull of some large canid, were framed school portraits of two boys, either fraternal twins or very close in age. Both were stunningly beautiful, a pedophile's dream-come-true.

Thinking of the children in those terms brought Anna up short. Dark thoughts, dire predictions, a view of the world as a dangerous and dirty place was an occupational hazard of those in law enforcement-even park rangers, whose days were spent in beautiful places populated by largely benevolent if occasionally misguided vacationers.

Her promotion to district ranger on the Natchez Trace Parkway was taking its toll. The Trace was a road, hence Anna was a cop. Asphalt could be relied on to be a conduit for crime.

The boys in the picture frames: not potential victims but future promise made flesh. Attitude screwed around the right way, Anna asked, "Are those your sons?"

"Luke and John," Joan said.

Good apostolic names. Anna smiled. "What happened to Matthew and Mark?"

"Stillborn."

Anna's brain skidded to a halt; a feeble jest had struck the jugular. "Shit," she said sincerely.

"Yup."

Silence settled around them, oddly comfortable this time, more so given this silence's root.

"John graduates high school this year. Luke's a junior. I got pregnant while nursing. Another old wives' tale bites the dust. They live with their dad in Denver."

There was no need for elaboration. The park service, though sublime in many respects, was hell on marriages. Anna was all too familiar with the forlorn photographs of shattered families.

Accompanied by an alarming creaking noise that she hoped was the ladder-backed chair and not Joan's sacroiliac, the researcher rose. She crossed to the television, returned with the pictures and set them down amid the BIMS reports and scat sample tubes.

"They're good-looking boys," Anna said, to make up for her evil pedophilic thoughts.

"Their dad was a virtual Adonis. Still is. Still knows it. Still drives the little girls wild."

Another chapter in the same old story.

"Ah," Anna said.

"If I ever marry again, it'll be to a rich old hunchback with bad teeth."

Picking up a frame, Anna studied the photo simply because she thought Joan had brought the pictures that they might be pored over and admired. "John?"

"Luke. Though he's younger, he's the bigger boy."

Around the eyes-brown and, because of a slight down-turn at the outer corners, sad-looking-Luke resembled his mother. In all else he had followed along the Adonis lines. "Looks a little like Rory Van Slyke," Anna said. "Looks" wasn't quite the right word. The two boys did have a surface resemblance, but it was the eyes that made them so alike, a depth of vision that boys shouldn't have. As if, during what should have been carefree childhood years, they had seen enough of life to become weary.

"I noticed that," Joan said.

Wistfulness permeated the words. Joan missed her sons, maybe picked the Van Slyke boy from the Earthwatch litter because he reminded her of Luke. Evidently Joan heard her own vulnerability and was shamed by it. At any rate, the moment of intimacy was over.

"BIMS," she said overbrightly. "Never a dull moment. Let me read you one." The forms had been made up in an attempt to keep a record of every bear sighting in the park. They were filled out by visitors and park personnel alike to gather information on the activities and whereabouts of the grizzlies and their less alarming cousins, the black bears. Each form had places for writing the location of sighting, date, time, observer, color of bear, observer's activity and, the most entertaining if not always the most illuminating, the comments section where the activities of the bear were described.

Reprinted from Blood Lure by Nevada Barr by permission of Putnam Books, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (c) 2001 Nevada Barr. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  131Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.