Park ranger Anna Pigeon is on loan to Yosemite National Park, a place she's always wanted to work—but not as a waitress. In this instance, however, she's really an undercover agent.

Four young people are missing from the park; three were employed by the parks system. A few years ago a psychopath killed four women in the park, and even though he's been captured, a shadow still hangs over Yosemite. Anna has been brought in as a spy for the head ranger, Lorraine Knight, who believes the employees who knew the missing people have not been completely forthcoming with law enforcement.

A park ranger for many years, Barr is the acknowledged mistress of this mystery subgenre, if such a subgenre exists. Her settings are some of the most beautiful, desolate and dangerous places in the country. The great outdoors is not forgiving; people get lost, injured and killed with regularity.

Anna is always right in the thick of things. Her descriptions of the beauties of nature and its inherent dangers always produce an edge-of-the-seat thrill ride. When three villains stalk Anna while she hikes near a frozen lake, the sights, sounds and smells of her fight for her life are indeed real. In the 12th book in this series, Anna is not getting older, she's getting better. (Feb., 336 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Lorraine Gelly