Sunday, November 22, 2009

115. 13 1/2 by Navada Barr

I love the Anna Pigeon mystery series that Barr writes which all take plae in National Parks.  Anna is such a great character and I love learning more about the parks.  I was excited to read this book which is a departure from the other series. 

I would call 13 1/2 a psychological thriller rather than a mystery.  There are flashbacks in the lives of the two main characters:  Dylan, who is sent to prison at the age of 11 for killing his parents and baby sister, and Polly, who runs away from her abusive mother after her stepfather attempts to sexually abuse her.  The details of the family murder are pretty brutal and so is Polly's life before she leaves home.  Of course, the book has a twist.  I figured that  part out quite quickly, but I'm not sure that the author was trying to keep it a big mystery.  The true suspense comes form wondering if the characters in the book will figure everything out before history repeats itself.  Barr does an incredible job in keeping the reader on the edge of her seat as the final drama unfolds.
Rating:  4


  1. I am also a fan of the Anna Pigeon books. I was wondering if this one would be as good. Your review lets me know to give it a try. Thanks!

  2. This looks good. The cover catches me and your review here just adds to it. :)

  3. 11? Wow. That's pretty horrific. I don't know that much about the legal system but could he be tried as an adult at that age?

  4. I was not aware that this series existed, which makes me feel like an ill-informed chump. I'll have to look for that one as I do enjoy my psychological thrillers. Thanks for the heads up.

    I just finished the latest Spenser novel ("The Professional") which was a typical Spenser, and enjoyable. And I'm reading a non-fiction book on what happens after someone wins the Novel Prize, "Reindeer with King Gustaf. I had no idea the process and the awards ceremony is so elaborate, with just scads of details. It's written by Anita Laughlin, whose husband won in 1998, and it's written from her point of view. We go with her to all the ceremonies along the way, including the ceremony, banquet, dinner with the King of Sweden and other official events. Boy does she have an eye for detail! And it also showcases to an extent the author's marriage -- she minimizes distractions to allow him to focus on the work that won him the prize (math -- not something happening in our house!). So the book also is about the balancing act and the low in their long marriage. Interesting book all the way around.

  5. I'm looking forward to reading this one sometime. I love her Anna Pigeon books too!