Just three days after her wedding to Sheriff Paul Davidson, Anna Pigeon moves from Mississippi to Colorado to assume her new post as district ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park, where three girls have disappeared during a religious retreat. Two of the children reappear a month later, clad only in filthy underwear and claiming to remember nothing of the intervening weeks. The girls are frightened and traumatized, but they forge a bond with the pair of campers who discover them - a wheelchair-bound paraplegic and her elderly aunt.
With the reappearance of the children comes an odd and unsettling presence in the park, a sense of disembodied evil and unspeakable terrors: small animals are mercilessly slaughtered, and a sinister force seems to still control the girls. As Anna investigates, she finds herself caught up in the machinations of a paranoid religious sect bent on protecting their secrets and keeping the girls sequestered from law enforcement and psychiatric help.
Following the trail of the many suspects, especially that of the cult's intense youth-group leader, Anna comes to find the force against which the children's minds have been broken. This evil has the eyes of a visionary and the soul of the devil. Anna will discover the truth - even if it kills her.
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"" - Publishers Weekly.
"The villain here is more sadistic than many of the scoundrels Pigeon encountered in previous novels, as vividly demonstrated in the final chapters, but Barr nicely balances the brutality with a thoughtful portrayal of Heath's struggle to rethink herself and Anna's own indomitable spirit and bravery". - Booklist.
"This 13th Pigeon mystery is one of the best of the series. " - Library Journal.
"If the escalating horrors, which make Anna's first 12 novels...seem kind and gentle, don't stand your hair on end, make an emergency appointment with a therapist, or book a tour of the National Parks, where you'll evidently be right at home." - Kirkus Reviews.
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"Nevada Barr has carved out her own fictional fiefdom, creating a body of
work like no other," the San Diego Union Tribune remarked in 1996 upon
the publication of the fifth book in Barrs acclaimed series featuring
National Park Service Ranger Anna Pigeon. Since the 1993 publication of the
first Anna Pigeon novel, Track of the Cat, which was awarded both the
Anthony Award for Best First Novel by The Crime Writers Association and the
Agatha Award for Best First Novel by Malice Domestic, Barr has earned a
reputation as a talented and much admired writer. As the Chicago Tribune
said, "Nevada Barr is a park ranger who can write up a storm."
The daughter of two pilots, Barr bears the name of the state in which she was born but apparently was not named for the state but for a ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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