Putnam, Feb2004, 24.95, 336 pp.
National Park Ranger Anna Pigeon is senior ranger at the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, but at the moment she works undercover as a waitress in the Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite National Park. Four young adults who worked at the park disappeared, but after unsuccessfully looking for them for days the searchers gave up.
The Chief Ranger of Yosemite thinks something criminal is going on at the park and she wants Anna to find out what it is. Anna shares a dorm room with two young roommates, who once shared a room with one of the girls that disappeared. One of the mates that vanished has four thugs living in his small cabin and every one of Anna's instincts believe they are somehow connected to the missing park employees. When Anna starts investigating in earnest, she finds out why the employees were killed, why one of her roommates is scared to death and why her immediate superior hates her. Now if she can only live long enough to expose the guilty parties.
There is a chase scene that is right out of the movie Deliverance and readers will believe Anna will never escape those who want to kill her. How she does it is a thing of beauty, pitting woman against mother nature and man. Nevada Barr is in top for with her crisp, melodic and sharp writing and her extraordinary characterizations. HIGH COUNTRY is a very visual work and most scenes can be pictured by even those whose mind's eye is blind to the great outdoors.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner