Putnam, Apr 2008, $ 24.95
District Ranger Anna Pigeon of Rocky Mountains National Park is going to have wolves in the park; to know what to expect she is sent to Isle Royale in Lake Superior where scientists have been studying the wolves in their natural habitat for fifty years. They can work without tourists around as the park is closed for several moths due to dangerous weather. Homeland Security would like the park opened year round as it is on the Canadian border; they send Bob Menchinn to determine the feasibility.
Strange things are happening on the isolated island beginning with Anna’s first night there. A group of seven wolves walk by the cabin where Anna and the winter study group resides. This anomaly shakes everyone as wolves normally avoid humans. Anna sees a giant wolf almost twice the size of a normal sized wolf and humongous paw prints. They think it is a wolf/dog hybrid and soon afterward an assistant is mauled to death by the wolves, which have no reported history of assaulting humans. The words “help me” appear on an ice coated window. Anna knows something is wrong and begins investigating just before another scientist disappears in what looks like a kidnapping; making her inquiries even more urgent.
A new Anna Pigeon mystery is a treat for fans of the series who expect the best from Nevada Barr and gets it with this strong “closed door” whodunit in a wintry outdoors setting. As Anna digs into the lives of the scientists and their aides, she uncovers dark secrets and blackmail, hidden agendas and ties to a cold (pun intended) case. Readers will enjoy armchair trekking with Anna as she seeks the truth allegedly of a killer wolf stalking humans.