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Biting the Moon [School & Library Binding]

Martha Grimes
1.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 2000 0613340183 978-0613340182
She didn't know who she was or where she was from, she only knows that she is in a Santa Fe bed and breakfast alone. She is told by the owner that her father carried her in and she was asleep. She immediately knows the man is not her father, so she takes his money and gun and heads for safety.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Amazon

A teenage girl wakes up alone in a bed and breakfast in Santa Fe with no memory of who she is or how she got there. The innkeeper explains that the man who brought her there said he was her father. But the one thing she knows for sure is that he is not--and that she must flee before he returns. Taking his jacket, money, and gun, she hikes into the surrounding mountains; in an unlikely scenario that only a writer as talented as Grimes can make plausible, she survives the harsh winter and even flourishes, seeking solace in the company of coyotes she frees from their illegal traps. When she reemerges from the wilderness a few months later, seeking to unravel the mystery of who she is, she walks into the life of 14-year-old Mary Dark Hope, a lonely orphan who becomes her ally and companion. Together they track the stranger who abducted her, who holds the key to the secret of her identity--the man she knows only as "Daddy."

The thrilling odyssey that takes the two girls into the murky world of illegal dogfights, hunting, and wild-animal profiteers culminates in a dramatic confrontation, but it is the brilliantly realized characters rather than the plot that capture the reader's imagination and keep the pages turning. Another tour de force for Grimes, and a cause for celebration for her many fans. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Engaging adolescent Mary Dark Hope, who appeared in Rainbow's End, returns in this uneven thriller/animal-rights polemic. After Mary befriends Andi, a teenage amnesiac who releases trapped animals in New Mexico's Sandia Mountains, the two girls head after a mysterious man who Andi thinks may have kidnapped her and knows her identity. Conveniently, the orphaned Mary has a bank account, a car, her dead sister's driver's license and gullible caregivers. The girls easily encounter garrulous informants along the way, finding a friend and protector in Reuel, a salt-of-the-earth dropout who knows everyone in Salmon, Idaho, where they've tracked their quarry. Once Andi identifies Harry Wine, a river expedition outfitter, as her abductor, the book shifts into a series of predictable episodes that show unthinking people gruesomely mistreating animals and that reveal the arrogant Wine's vile nature. Mary and Andi rescue an abused dog, go white-water rafting, spy on a "canned hunt" for endangered animals. In a violent scene near the book's end, Andi confronts Wine, then disappears. Although Grimes writes movingly of the plight of maltreated animals and gracefully evokes the beauty of the American West, many scenes are too long and aimless. Most of the characters are stereotypes, their individual motivations hard to discern. Andi's disappearance is especially puzzlingAlike the Lone Ranger, she stirs up the populace and vanishes, leaving the cleanup to others. This is not a Richard Jury book, and fans will miss him. Rights, Peter Lampack Agency.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Along the highway, a few miles from the city and a short distance from the general store where she went to get her supplies, Andi got a ride from a woman with pearl-gray hair and rings on nearly all her fingers. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another superior side of Martha Grimes July 7 2000
Martha Grimes is best known for her fantastic Jury/Melrose Plant (Plant, who is actually Lord Audry, but has given up his title) English mysteries. But in this book, she's broken off into a beautiful mystery about the south western and northwestern United States, with two fiesty young girls-incredible characters, taking risks. I recommend this book to all. It's a Grimes' success!
Joanna Campbell, Author and creator of the Thoroughbred Series, and author of the first 14 books.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A phoned-in performance Jan. 19 2001
It is said when talented actors give a bad performance that they have "phoned it in." Martha Grimes phoned this book in, and on a bad line. It is a story cobbled from all too many disparate fragments - part polemic, part on-the-road, part growing-up and most likely part boiling up a manuscript to fulfill a contract. Only rarely does the author's admirable ability to turn an apt phrase, make an astute observation, sketch a memorable character make itself evident. Usually I pass my "used" mysteries on to a friend but I am embarrassed to do that with this one. (I can only hope that Martha Grimes is equally embarrassed at having let this one escape to an admiring public. Come to think of it the publication of BITING THE MOON can be construed as a cynical act: Martha Grimes is too honest not to have recognized that this runt wouldn't hunt.) Having said all that, I will not give up on Martha Grimes. However, I will thoroughly vet her next offerings (even the latest Richard Jury books have limped a little) and borrow rather than buy until I have pro-rated my loss on this one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Once Bitten, Twice Shy Sept. 27 2000
Some plot devices require a greater suspension of disbelief than others. Amnesia qualifies for this category, along with the notion of two young orphaned girls hitting the road on an heroic odyssey. Instead of seeking help, the assault victim allows herself to be picked up again - by the same attacker! She doesn't recognize him, but that's okay cause he pretends not to recognize her either and simply gives her a ride. How many kids have both a wild animal as a pet and a scientific genius for a sidekick? Why river rafting, murder, pornography? While the mistreatment of animals is a worthwhile subject, it's oddly placed in this hodgepodge. I got the feeling the author had a file full of ideas that she decided to get rid of in one fell swoop. The result is an unnecessarily hard-to-swallow mishmash that does justice neither to Grimes' abilities as a writer nor to the issue of animal abuse. I've enjoyed her books in the past, but I'm not getting near the next one without a whip and a chair.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Far-fetched May 12 1999
By A Customer
Grimes's writing style is as smooth as ever, but I couldn't get past the premise of two teenagers galavanting across the U.S. like Thelma and Louise. Andi had already been preyed upon once; Mary had seen the dark side of life with the death of her sister. Am I to believe these two intelligent young women would just hit the road, chasing a child molester, as if they were going on Spring Break? And if the think-tank doctor was such a genius, how could he let Andi and Mary wander off after hearing that horrible story. It just doesn't wash.
Also, although I am sympathetic to animal rights issues, this book covered too many-trapping, coyote population control, dogfights, crooked vets, and canned hunts. It would have been better to focus one or two issues, because in the end, the overwhelming amount of controversial topics detracted from all of them.
I didn't expect to see Richard Jury in this novel, so I wasn't disappointed in that respect. But I did feel this novel was rushed and not as finely crafted as some of her others.
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By A Customer
When the teen awakened in the Santa Fe bed and breakfast, she had no idea who she was. Her only clues were the initials A.O. on her backpack and vague references to Idaho. She also realizes that "Daddy", who took her to this motel, is not her father, but probably her abductor. She calls her self Andi after the nearby Sandia Mountains.
Andi vanishes into the mountainous wilderness where she begins to protect the animals from hunters. When Andi meets another adolescent Mary Dark Hope, they form a bond. Mary agrees to help Andi and they soon begin their trek seeking the identity of "Daddy" as a start.
Readers need to know that though Mary Dark Hope originally appeared in a Richard Jury novel, BITING THE MOON is not a Jury tale (this reviewer kept waiting for his appearance). The story line is a bit disjointed because too much of the novel is spent on the subplots. This especially is true as Martha Grimes makes compassionate, graphic pleas for animal rights, but ultimately these passages ramble away from the mystery. Mary remains a warm, enigmatic character, whom readers will embrace. The audience will feel much empathy for Andi too, but Ms. Grimes dissipates that for no apparent reason. Though the novel has well-written sections, fans will be better off obtaining a Jury tale to see the author at her awesome best.

Harriet Klausner
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably bad. April 15 1999
By A Customer
I was sorely disappointed by M. Grimes latest. She has taken a perfectly riveting premise and muddied it with totally unplausible side stories, a mis-timed and disatisfying resolution of the central mystery, and downright bad writing. This book was poorly executed, poorly written, and poorly edited. I loved Andi and Mary (though they were easily confused at points-I think they are different sides or stages of the same character), but are readers to believe that they are mixed up with a kidnapper/murderer/kiddie porn purveyor who has ties to "canned hunts" as well as an illegal dog-fighting ring and crooked veterinarian? And what's with all the lonely, kind, jaded folks who were once so talented and have totally unrealized dreams of greatness? My suspension of disbelief was stretched to its breaking point. To M. Grimes I say this: take Andi and her story, and re-write it. You had something there, and you botched it!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Dubious Best Seller
I listened to the audio version of this book, which may have helped some; it was engaging enough, in spite of the frequent sordid plot twists around every corner - the canned hunt... Read more
Published on July 31 2003 by tauntonlake
1.0 out of 5 stars "Young Adult" at best
two teenage girls take on amnesia, sexual perversion, dog fighting, white water rafting and canned hunts coming out on top every time in a story that defines the unbelievable; and... Read more
Published on March 22 2003 by MacGeezer
1.0 out of 5 stars Never again
This is the first (and last) Martha Grimes book I've picked up. It is perfectly dreadful. I couldn't finish it. Thank goodness I had borrowed it from the library. Read more
Published on May 11 2001 by A reader
1.0 out of 5 stars What was Martha Thinking
I wish I had read the reviews of this book before I bought it. It is a very dark and disturbing story full of twisted characters and plot line. Read more
Published on March 21 2001 by "ls131"
1.0 out of 5 stars This One Really Does Bite
I wish I'd read all these reviews before I spent $12 on this novel--silly me, I actually believed the glowing reviews on the cover from the New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times and... Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2001 by KJsJoys
1.0 out of 5 stars Biting the Moon
If I could have, I would have rated this book negative five stars. Martha Grimes and her editor should hang their heads in shame. This book was obviously not researched at all. Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars If you love animals, you MUST read this book!
First, I loved the book because of it's many topics on animal cruelty. This book is clearly written freestyle-sentences lack structure, has a few typos, and a few loose ends. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2000
Published on July 29 2000
1.0 out of 5 stars Did Martha Grimes write this?
If you love Martha Grimes, don't read this book. The subject matter (cruelty to animals and people)is certainly worthy of being written about even though I wish this book had... Read more
Published on May 28 2000 by Diane Neal
2.0 out of 5 stars Biting The Moon
I was very disappointed in this novel. The characters were very well drawn but I felt left in limbo at the end and did wonder what happened to Andi. Read more
Published on May 21 2000 by Polly Ann Viner
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