I just spent the weekend with Nevada Barr through her book Borderline. I've been a fan of her Anna Pigeon series for years. Anna, a National Park Service ranger, appeals to me because she's brave, gutsy, loves the outdoors, is curious, and when the occasion calls for it she's decisive in the face of danger. Along the way through the series she has changed quite a bit as she's gotten older, but the biggest change happened when she married Paul, a Mississippi sheriff who is also a minister. He seems to be perfect for her, and she has learned to rely on him somewhat instead of only depending upon herself.
That love and trust has never been so evident as in Borderline. Anna had been forced to kill a man in her last posting. No question it was self-defense and warranted, but she is sent to a shrink and ends up having a breakdown. Sent home to recover, she finally feels better and she and Paul go on a rafting trip down the Rio Grande through Big Bend National Park.
There are four teenagers along plus a young woman who is their guide. Anna still struggles to rid herself of the effects of her breakdown but the trip seems to be helping. Then they see a cow named Easter halfway up a cliff. Easter has been there barely surviving for quite a while and will surely die. They decide to rescue her and that's when the trip turns into a tragic adventure.
Many characters in this story are troubled, others genuinely wonderful human beings and as usual Barr fleshes them out and brings them to life. Anna learns things about herself that she never expected and in the process she heals. I think this is possibly the best Nevada Barr ever. I certainly recommend it.
Borderline is available from amazon.com. I am an Amazon Associate.