Winter Study by Nevada Barr

 

Winter Study by Nevada Barr

Suspense Winter StudyNevada Barr; Center Point Pub. 2008WorldCatEvery winter naturalists study the wolves and moose at the Isle Royale National Park in the middle of Lake Superior in a multi decade study. This January Anna Pigeon is assigned up there for the few weeks the team is there observing and documenting their findings. The team is also accompanied by a Homeland Security representative who is to determine whether the Isle Royale park should be open year round for tourists as a safety matter. If that happens, the study project would be shut down.

There is tension among the team members, especially between the Homeland Security professor and a doctoral student who had obviously had a relationship in the past. There is also some possibility of a new wolf strain on the island – which should be impossible. It appears to be oversized and with the DNA of dog as well as a wolf. The known wolves on the island are acting oddly as well, including crossing the human compound for the first time ever known to the scientists studying them.

The winter temperatures are killers. Isle Royale temperatures drop to zero and below with wind chill factors making it worse. When Anna is stuck on a piece of ice on the lake, she’ll be lucky if she doesn’t die of hypothermia or, if the ice tips, drowning in freezing waters. Her life isn’t the only one endangered before the end of the group’s stay on the island.

Winter Study is a powerful, at times bleak, novel that investigates multiple threads. The Winter Study is the longest of its kind that exists. It’s rare to get a closed environment that is so perfect to study. That in itself adds interest to the novel. Then there are the Homeland Security issues and the post-9/11 American terrorist paranoia that affects the future of the study. Nevada Barr’s opinions of Homeland Security’s handling of the country’s safety and security issues come through strongly. She feels it’s a poorly governed department and is making things worse rather than better.

This novel also covers personal issues such as suicide, newlyweds, rape, and women’s degradation. Winter Study is well written and difficult to read because she addresses the issues as past happenings rather than the way a hard core suspense novel does. I was unsettled when I finished it rather than satisfied with the “happy” ending. Isn’t that what good writing is supposed to do?

Notice: Suggestive dialogue or situations

Anna Pigeon series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!
More books by Nevada Barr

Link to Amazon.comLink to BetterWorld Books

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