Anna Pigeon, a Ranger with the National Park Service, is on administrative leave from her job as she recovers from the traumas of the past couple of months - while the physical wounds have healed, the emotional ones are still healing. With her new husband busy and back at work, Anna decides to go to stay with an old friend from the Park Service, Geneva, who works as a singer at the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. Anna isn't in town long before she crosses paths with a tenant of Geneva's, a creepy guy named Jordan. She discovers what seems to be an attempt to place a curse on her - a gruesomely killed pigeon marked with runic symbols - and begins slowly to find traces of very dark doings in the heart of post-Katrina New Orleans. Tied up in all of this evil magic are Jordan, who is not at all what he appears to be; a fugitive mother accused of killing her husband and daughters in a fire; and faint whispers of unpleasant goings-on in the heart of the slowly recovering city. Now it will take all of Anna's skills learned in the untamed outdoors to navigate the urban jungle in which she finds herself, to uncover the threads that connect these seemingly disparate people, and to rescue the most vulnerable of creatures from the most savage of animals.
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by Nevada Barr
"Joyce Bean makes each of Barr's characters instantly discernible, using varied speech patterns and pauses. Series regular Anna Pigeon, on leave from the National Park Service, is visiting an old friend in New Orleans. There she meets creepy Jordan, one of her friend's boarders, as well as fugitive Claire Sullivan, a Seattle mother accused of killing her husband and two daughters. As a post-Katrina world of voodoo curses and whispers of other eerie dark doings is revealed, Bean's pacing is exact, slowly delivering the languid passages of atmosphere and ratcheting up the tension where needed. Bean's mastery of storytelling serves Barr's latest drama well. S.C.A. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine"
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