After the horrendous events on a special assignment on Isle Royale (Winter Study) Anna Pigeon is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She is put on leave from work. She and her husband Paul decide to take a vacation rafting down the Rio Grande River in the Big Bend National Park on the Texas/Mexican border. They join their guide, a young woman in her 20's, and four older teen agers in college on the trip. They're planning a leisurely three day trip down the river.
As they gowing downstream they hear a mourning sound. It's Easter, a cow that was caught in a flood and is now stranded at the top of a cliff where she climbed. Anna is determined to rescue her. It's not easy, but eventually they are able to get Easter down to their raft. Unfortunately, the river is rising. They are caught in some rapids. When they hit a rock in the middle of the river, their raft capsizes. All of them, including Easter, are swept down a ways but finally get out.
Then one of the teen agers sees another person caught in the river. They discover an almost term pregnant woman caught in a strain. The mother dies, but they are able to save the baby. They can't get a sattelite phone signal in the river valley and have to climb out to keep the baby alive. It's harder than they expect to keep her safe...
The mystery in Borderline is predictable and average. It's decent escapism reading for the mystery. But what saves this novel is Anna's self discoveries and her bonding with the baby. Her relationship with Paul is strengthened. Based on my opinion on the best part of the novel, you should have read earlier novels in the series. It is especially helpful to have read the immediate preceding book, Winter Study. In fact, I borrowed a friend's copy so I could back and check a few parts of the story line.
As usual, Nevada Barr gives some wonderful visuals of the Rio Grande area and the Big Bend National Park. It's easy to picture the river at the bottom of the canyon with the flat desert at the top of the rim. The unexpected trip down the rapids felt realistic - even to floating down feet first or gripping a cow by the horns to keep it safe as well.
I had the mystery figured out as soon as the last characters were in place. There's no edge to it. But Barr still gives a good tale of the Big Bend National Park.
Notice: Non-graphic violence
| Anna Pigeon National Park Series:
Track of the Cat Guadaloupe Mountains National Park, TX
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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