"What lifts the Anna Pigeon novels far above most of the other contemporary amateur sleuth mysteries is Barr's exquisite writing--it swoops, it soars, sails then catches you unawares beneath the heart and takes your breath away," proclaimed the Cleveland Plain Dealer of last year's Liberty Falling. In Deep South, Nevada Barr takes our breath away once again as her heroine travels cross-country to Mississippi, only to encounter terrible secrets in the heart of the south.
The handwritten sign on the tree said it all: REPENT. For Anna Pigeon, this should have been reason enough to turn back for her beloved Mesa Verde. Instead she heads for the Natchez Trace Parkway and the promotion that awaits her. Almost immediately, she finds herself in the midst of controversy: as the new district ranger, she faces resentment so extreme her ability to do her job may be compromised, and her life may very well be in danger. But all thoughts of personal safety are set aside with the discovery of a young girl's body in a country cemetery, a sheet around her head, a noose around her neck.
The kudzu is thick and green, the woods dark and full of secrets. And the ghosts of violence hover as Anna struggles for answers to questions that, perhaps, should never be asked. Deep South proves that, "like the parks and monuments she writes of, Nevada Barr should be declared a national treasure" (The Bloomsbury Review)
The Rambler's headlights caught a scrap of paper nailed to a tree, a handwritten sign: repent. Darkness swallowed it, and Anna was left with the feeling she was surely on the road to perdition. God knew it was dark enough. Her high beams clawed the grass on the left side of the narrow lane, plowing a furrow so green it looked unnatural: neon green, acid green.
At least it's in color, she thought sourly. Everything she knew--or imagined she did--about Mississippi had been gleaned from grainy black-and-white television footage of the civil rights movement in the sixties.
Her worldly goods in a U-Haul, a shrieking Piedmont in a cat carrier, and an ever-faithful, if occasionally disgusting, hound drooling on her thigh, she'd driven straight through from Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Twenty-two hours. And she'd done it the old-fashioned way: without drugs. Caffeine didn't count, and six hours north of Dallas-Fort Worth it had quit having ...
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