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Hard Truth

Hard Truth

Written by Nevada Barr

Narrated by Joyce Bean


Hard Truth

Written by Nevada Barr

Narrated by Joyce Bean

ratings:
4/5 (6 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Dec 25, 2006
ISBN:
9781423300878
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Just three days after her wedding to Sheriff Paul Davidson, Anna Pigeon moves from Mississippi to Colorado to assume her new post as district ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park, where three girls have disappeared during a religious retreat. Two of the children reappear a month later, clad only in filthy underwear and claiming to remember nothing of the intervening weeks. The girls are frightened and traumatized, but they forge a bond with the pair of campers who discover them - a wheelchair-bound paraplegic and her elderly aunt.

With the reappearance of the children comes an odd and unsettling presence in the park, a sense of disembodied evil and unspeakable terrors: small animals are mercilessly slaughtered, and a sinister force seems to still control the girls. As Anna investigates, she finds herself caught up in the machinations of a paranoid religious sect bent on protecting their secrets and keeping the girls sequestered from law enforcement and psychiatric help.

Following the trail of the many suspects, especially that of the cult's intense youth-group leader, Anna comes to find the force against which the children's minds have been broken. This evil has the eyes of a visionary and the soul of the devil. Anna will discover the truth - even if it kills her.
Released:
Dec 25, 2006
ISBN:
9781423300878
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Nevada Barr is the author of the series of New York Times bestselling novels featuring Anna Pigeon, a law enforcement park ranger. Her novels include Winter Study, Borderline and Burn. She won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel for Track of the Cat. Like her character, Barr worked for the National Park Service as a park ranger before resigning to write full time. She had postings to such parks as Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas (where Anna Pigeon was created) and Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi. She lives in New Orleans.


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Reviews

What people think about Hard Truth

4.0
6 ratings / 12 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Just 3 days after her wedding to Sheriff Paul Davidson, Anna Pigeon moves from Miss. to CO to assume her new post as district ranger at a national park; 3 girls have disappeared and show up again at a campsite.
  • (4/5)
    Anna Pigeon is a fascinating character--a 50 something Park Ranger, who's in great shape, has spent her life outdoors, but is still concerned enough to take care of her skin! A role model for us elder ladies!In this adventure, she's recently married but has left her new husband back in New Orleans when the call came to take this post in Rocky Mountain National Park. It appears to be a good career step and they agree to take one year to decide whose career will be the one driving where the couple will ultimately live. I sense plenty of room for future tension in that aspect.When Anna arrives at her new post, she is briefed on an ongoing case of three missing girls from some sort of church campout. When two of those girls emerge from the woods dehydrated, filthy, almost naked, and suffering from 'amnesia' about what happened to them and where they've been for the past two weeks, Anna is skeptical. Church and family elders do not want to pursue the adventure, and if it weren't for the fact that one of the girls is still missing, would not allow any questioning at all.Add to this mix the fact that the two girls were discovered by a young paraplegic in a wheelchair who is camping in the park with her 80 year old auntie who happens to be a physician, and you have a delicious mix of motivations and characters. This one has a great plot, lots of suspects - not too many too track of though--a gorgeous setting which Barr describes well, and some well developed characters.Although I have not read the previous 12 in the series, I had no trouble following with the limited backfill. While I am curious about some of the previous adventures (who the husband is and how they met for instance), the lack of knowledge did not detract from my enjoyment of this story. The plot makes a very steady climb to an especially chilling and thrilling climax. I don't usually like "scary in the dark woods" kinds of stories, but I found this one quite believable and was sufficiently grabbed that I had to stay up long past my bedtime to finish it. It is a true cliff hangar. (Read the story and you'll see that is no pun.)
  • (4/5)
    It's been a long time since I read this book but I have read the entire series, up until the most current book and I really like it. I love how the series is set outdoors in the different parks. If you like C.J. Box, then you'll like Barr too.
  • (2/5)
    Hard Truth by Nevada Barr is the thirteenth in the Anna Pigeon series. Newly married Anna Pigeon has left her home in Mississippi to be the district ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park. Shortly after she arrives, a pair of missing girls appear, nearly naked, bloody, and claiming amnesia. They are rescued by an ex-mountain climber who is now a paraplegic.Hard Truth offers a break from the typical storytelling of the Anna Pigeon books. This time the point of view is shared, switching between Anna, the usual protagonist, and Heath, the woman who initially found the girls.Anna quickly suspects sexual and physical abuse and the girl's home life in a hyper-conservative quasi-Mormon compound further fuels her suspicions. Meanwhile, Heath is being tormented by unseen demons (some of her own making and some relating to her rescuing of the girls).I've decided I'm done reading this series. The problem isn't the violence. Instead it's the sameness of the plot, even when the narration is changed. Anna basically hates people and continues to insist on working in a job that requires lots of interaction with people because she likes nature and has this crazy idea that she might be able to get away from things out in the wilderness.The problem is that whenever there's a couple presented in the book (other than Anna and her now husband or her dearly departed first husband), the man is most certainly a monster and the woman is complicit in his crimes, or in more recent books, as much a monster as he is. Seriously, to solve any of these Anna Pigeon mysteries, just look for the couple. They did it. But before you can get to the end, you'll have to suffer through Anna being an ass, Anna getting her ass kicked, Anna some how surviving again and finally confronting and probably killing (or somehow causing the death of) the male criminal.
  • (4/5)
    Too graphic, though the story is classic Ms. Barr. Set in the Rocky Mountain National Park, which was cool for me because I live in Denver and have been there.
  • (5/5)
    Once again Anna Pigeon is faced with a national park mystery. Set in Rocky Mountain National Park, it was interesting reading this book while camped at the park's entrance. Our favorite park ranger must deal with a wide range of issues including kidnapping, murder, abuse, religious extremists, and disabilities.
  • (4/5)
    Anna Pigeon moves from Mississippi to Colorado and finds missing girls in the National Park. A religious cult seems to be the answer. A newly handicapped woman finds she is still needed as two of the girls are found and the search continues.
  • (4/5)
    Another excellent story in the Anna Pigeon series although with a little bit from other people's perspectives which I didn't particularly care for. I had a few questions like how the media described the girls' disappearance in the first place. All that was talked about was how they were found in the beginning of the book. Also, at one point Anna talked to Heath about something privately and it was never clear what they talked about. An another big problem that bothered me from the beginning was that the man who was with the kids when they disappeared was never brought in for questioning.

    But despite those, it was a good read as I always expect from Barr and I eagerly await reading the next one.
  • (3/5)
    A ranger, newly in charge of the Colorado park, is confronted with kidnapped children, tortured animals and a very strict religious sect. Her life is in danger as she seeks to unravel all the threads to this mystery.I have not been thrilled with this story, and in fact quit listening when I was two discs away from the finish. I knew the identity of the killer in disc one and had very few surprises. The only reason I continued so long was because I liked the voice of Anna and the other woman, Heath. I might have finished this if I had been reading it in book form and could skim, but the vivid descriptions of torture, abuse, filthy language and a psychopathic mind were impossible for me to listen to. I listened at least two discs further than I should have as it is. The narrator did a fine job of reading.
  • (5/5)
    Full props to Nevada Barr. The first Anna Pigeon novel, Track of the Cat, was a wonderfully descriptive story in a state park with some great characters and a good mystery. I assumed that she'd take that nice formula and spin it out into a good series of books, and that theory was borne out by the second story I read.Then I got this book. Same Anna, same national parks, but this isn't a nice little mystery. It's a hideous psychological thriller featuring some of the most twisted villains I've ever had the pleasure to read about. Reminds me a bit of Elizabeth George or Ted Decker, and it's kind of nauseating just wondering what kind of mind could even come up with characters like these.The other books in the series I've read I'd be happy to recommend to an Agatha Christie fan. The psychological darkness in this one makes it less appropriate for those genteel folks, but the writing continues to be terrific, and Barr manages to pull her characters and settings right out of their comfort mystery zone and into this blacker one. Quite a feat.
  • (5/5)
    I first became acquainted with Nevada Barr and her National Parks Ranger sleuth Anna Pigeon in 2001. Ms Barr's book Blood Lure was set in Glacier National Park (the one that shares a border with Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park) which was a place I had visited. I really enjoyed it and so I set my sights on reading all the ones that came before and then catching up to date. With this book I have read all the books that were published up to 2010 and now I have to find the last three.This book is set in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado which is a beautiful park that I have visited several times. It's a good thing that this book is fiction because if the horrible things that Anna Pigeon encounters were real probably no-one would want to visit. Anna has just taken a new job as a district ranger in the park and she is still getting up to speed on what she needs to know. She gets a call that takes her out to a campground set aside for disabled campers. There she finds Heath, a woman confined to a wheelchair after falling in a mountain climbing accident, and her aunt Gwen as well as two emaciated and filthy young girls. Heath tells how the girls emerged from the woods dressed in only underwear with no shoes just after her wheelchair had tipped over on a path near her camp site. They have not talked very much but Anna and the other park staff know that they are two of three girls that disappeared some weeks earlier while on a camping trip with their church group. There are many questions to be answered including where were they kept and who by and where is the missing girl. Those questions take a long time to answer partly because the girls claim they don't remember but mostly because the girls are part of a Mormon religious community that refuses to have them seen by any trauma specialists. The only hope for recovering information lies with Heath's close relationship with one of the girls, Beth; Beth clung so closely to Heath that Heath calls her the limpet. Meanwhile Anna is trying to learn the trails and campgrounds in her district and she also hopes she might find the missing girl. Travelling by herself as she does it is little wonder that she gets into some dangerous situations. And it appears that there is a psychopath loose in the park and Anna has to try to stop him/her.Gripping story which I recommend to anyone wanting to read something a little different from your usual mystery.
  • (4/5)
    I wasn’t prepared for the brutality of the final pages and ultimately skimmed them. After reading pretty much this whole series, it surprised me. Also, the absence of Paul surprised me. I guess Barr just isn’t ready for Anna to be married just yet.Plotwise, it fell into typical pattern. Anna is working in yet another National Park. She's the new kid on the block again, but this time has some rank. 2 out of 3 missing children turn up battered and dazed from their ordeal, they aren't much help in locating the 3rd girl. Obvious and less obvious suspects are presented, and one is depicted in such a way that I knew he couldn’t be guilty. Immediately I started looking at the less obvious and pretty much found the guilty party, I just didn’t know how sick and twisted a character that person would turn out to be. There were also some things that didn’t make sense to me, that maybe are explained in the pages I couldn’t deal with. Like whose finger was it anyway and how did Anna connect her criminal with the cases she brings up at the end; murders out of state? But I’m not going to go and find the answer, I’m good.I should have known this book would ratchet up my emotions to a high degree. It featured a cultish clan of “Christians” that was remarkably close to the fringe groups of Mormons; virtually enslaving women and creating a brothel of underage girls for the picking of dirty old pedophiles masquerading as righteous men. Sickening in its own right, but the lengths with which the killer goes to create different kind of twisted little clan is equally chilling. Barr really went all out with this one.