ILL WIND by Nevada Barr


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As historians and contractors slug it out over replacing the ancient waterlines in Mesa Verde National Park, noncombatant park ranger Anna Pigeon battles a demon of her own: her growing attraction to Stacy Meyers, a law-enforcement temp unhappily married (what did he and Rose Meyers ever see in each other, anyway?) and burdened with a special-needs stepchild. Soon enough, though, there are more immediate problems: contractor Ted Greeley's hiring of Tom Silva, estranged husband of park superintendent's secretary Patsy Silva, who immediately feels she's being harassed by her obsessive ex; a midnight sabotage attempt on Greeley's excavation equipment; a nip-and-tuck airlift of an asthmatic girl who collapses in the Cliff Palace; Stacy's strangely dissociated behavior during the rescue; and finally the eerie discovery of Stacy's corpse, neatly laid out on the fire-pit floor of the Cliff Palace without a mark to indicate how he died. Whodunit, and why, and how? Not as intense or as ingenious as A Superior Death (1994), and this time Anna's struggles with alcoholism and the continuing grief of widowhood eclipse the more routine intrigues of the plot. But the supporting characters have stubborn lives of their own -- you never get the sense that they've spent their whole lives waiting to be suspects in a murder case -- and Barr's sense of place is as wondrous as ever.
Pub Date: April 6th, 1995
ISBN: 0425197255
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1995


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