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Destroyer Angel: An Anna Pigeon Novel    by Nevada Barr order for
Destroyer Angel
by Nevada Barr
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2015 (2014)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is one thriller that would not let go of me - I just had to stick with it, along with its embattled heroines, until the very end. Destroyer Angel is the nineteenth book in Nevada Barr's long-running and highly entertaining series starring U.S. park ranger Anna Pigeon. Though I have only read a few episodes, I suspect this is one of the best, simply because it would be hard to beat.

As Destroyer Angel opens, Anna is on vacation, paddling a canoe. She's on a camping trip in the Minnesota Iron Range, having left her husband Paul in Colorado. Back at camp are her paraplegic friend Heath Jarrod; Heath's (previously traumatized but very tough) fifteen-year old daughter Elizabeth; asocial Leah, a genius whose brilliant designs of outdoor equipment have made her fortune; and Leah's rather spoilt and neglected thirteen-year old daughter Katie. Heath is there to test gear Leah has 'designed to make wilderness access easier for the disabled.'

Before Anna can rejoin her friends, a group of thugs attacks the camp, led by sociopathic Charles. Kidnappers, their main targets are Leah and Katie. Charles kicks Heath's beloved dog Wily, breaking his leg. The women's first task is to convince the gang that Heath and Elizabeth should not be shot out of hand. After that, they need Leah to work out how they can transport Heath through the woods. In the meantime, Anna figures out what is happening. Staying out of sight, she manages to rescue Wily and to keep the disabled dog with her - he proves a valiant companion.

Anna 'was, and always would be, her sister's keeper.' She follows the four gunmen and their captives through the wilderness. The women's only advantage is that the thugs are by no means woods smart. It takes everything the four brutalized women have to stay alive, keep going, and to carry Heath with them, while fending off rape. Leah, a mushroom expert, feels like she's won the lottery when she finds an 'exceedingly deadly' Destroyer Angel, but will she ever have a chance to use it?

You'll have to read the book to find out and to understand what was behind the kidnapping. Destroyer Angel is a heart stopping tale of wilderness endurance and the strong bonds that can form between women, as well as an intriguing mystery. Don't miss this one!

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