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Liberty Falling [Mass Market Paperback]

Nevada Barr
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 24 2000 Anna Pigeon Mysteries
There is peril beneath the watchful eyes of the Lady...

When Anna Pigeon left New York City after her husband was killed, she hoped it would be forever. But now her sister Molly is clinging to life in an uptown hospital ICU, so Anna has reluctantly returned. Rooming with a friend and fellow park ranger in close quarters on Liberty Island---the small strip of land that is home to Lady Liberty---Anna spends her free time exploring the grand monument and the crumbling, overgrown, and eerie ruins in the unrestored sections of nearby Ellis Island. But the peace she seeks here is shattered when she finds herself among a crowd gathered at the Lady's base, staring at the broken body of a teenager who fell---or was pushed---to her death.

The reason behind the youthful girl's fatal plunge is not the only mystery alive on these historic sites---nor will hers be the only death. Hidden in a dangerous labyrinth of stone, glass, and steel are secrets Anna Pigeon is now compelled to uncover...and an insidious threat to herself and to others that could wreak havoc on a nation's proudest day.

There is peril beneath the watchful eyes of the Lady...There is peril beneath the watchful eyes of the Lady...

When Anna Pigeon left New York City after her husband was killed, she hoped it would be forever.But now her sister Molly is clinging to life in an uptown hospital ICU, so Anna has reluctantly returned.Rooming with a friend and fellow park ranger in close quarters on Liberty Island---the small strip of land that is home to Lady Liberty---Anna spends her free time exploring the grand monument and the crumbling, overgrown, and eerie ruins in the unrestored sections of nearby Ellis Island.But the peace she seeks here is shattered when she finds herself among a crowd gathered at the Lady's base, staring at the broken body of a teenager who fell---or was pushed---to her death.

The reason behind the youthful girl's fatal plunge is not the only mystery alive on these historic sites---nor will hers be the only death.Hidden in a dangerous labyrinth of stone, glass, and steel are secrets Anna Pigeon is now compelled to uncover...and an insidious threat to herself and to others that could wreak havoc on a nation's proudest day.


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From Amazon

Imagine Nevada Barr's delight in discovering that there is actually a national park right smack in the middle of New York City--Gateways Park, which encompasses Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. She could continue her splendid series about park ranger Anna Pigeon and still do some serious shopping at Bendel's and Berghdorf's, the kind of stores you don't find in the New Mexico cave setting of Blind Descent (her last adventure). The ploy works: Barr is probably the only mystery writer who could see a natural environment under New York's slick and sleazy skin.

Anna is in Manhattan to look after her sister Molly, seriously ill with pneumonia and a kidney infection. Pigeon moves in with a ranger friend who has a place on Ellis Island. There's not much natural wildlife unless you count her feathered namesakes, but she still manages to find a lot to contemplate--especially the suspicious suicide of a teenage girl who leaps from Liberty's ledge, followed not long after by the security guard who tried to stop her. But Anna's snooping puts her own life in jeopardy. She survives several attacks and a near drowning--events as frightening as any of the fires, floods, and hurricanes from her past adventures. Barr neatly ties up her plot--ending with a brilliant chase scene across the waters from Manhattan to Liberty Island. What next for Anna? Is there a national park in Las Vegas? --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Tenacious park ranger Anna Pigeon leaves the country wilderness for the wilds of New York City, where her sister Molly is hospitalized, in this seventh installment of Barr's popular series (Blind Descent, etc.). Although Anna is on leave, she gets involved in the investigation of two murders. An unidentified child falls to her death from the Statue of Liberty. The main suspect dies. Anna is attacked. An actress is fatally bludgeoned on Ellis Island. Anna's conviction that these events are connected leads to a cross-country search for a right-wing fanatic. As expected with Barr, the narrative teems with memorable characters-among them Charlie DeLeo, the caretaker of the Statue of Liberty's torch, and Anna's former lover, FBI Agent Frederick Stanton, now smitten with Molly. Though Barr ties up the many subplots in an action-packed finale, the mystery is slow to develop and there's little doubt that Molly will recover. Barr's atmospherics remain potent, however. Her evocation of the isolated, exotic nature of the two famous tourist attractions is a particular treat, bringing home how nature is inexorably reclaiming buildings and records a stone's throw from bustling Manhattan. Mystery Guild main selection; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Anna and New York Just Don't Mix Aug. 8 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Intrepid park ranger Anna Pigeon is out of her milieu in this book, and the result is less than stellar.
Anna's beloved sister Molly has fallen dangerously ill, and Anna has rushed to her side. Long and boring stints in the ICU (for both Anna and the reader) are interspersed with acute anxiety attacks, and a pressing need for space. Liberty Island, which is actually one of three islands, is--surprise--a national park, and Anna bunks with a ranger friend rather than stay at Molly's tony apartment in Manhattan. Of course, Anna being Anna, she stumbles onto some nefarious doings, not only in Lady Liberty herself, but in the decayed buildings of Ellis Island. Her snooping is not taken well by the resident staff--to the point where her life may be in danger.
I don't know why I found the detailed descriptions of the inner workings of the Statue of Liberty, and the endless visits to the decaying buildings of Ellis Island, so boring. Linda Fairstein described much the same thing in one of her books, and it slowed her plot considerably, in my opinion. Perhaps it was this sense of deja vu that annoyed me so much in "Liberty Falling."
At any rate, I found the going very slow, to the point where I kept forgetting which character was which.
Added to the slow pace of the mystery is the intensely annoying courtship of Anna's sister by geeky G-man Frederick Stanton, who has become increasingly hard to take in each successive book. Why the fabulous Molly would respond to Stanton, even in her half-dead state, is beyond me. Anna has some problems with it as well, but for different reasons, as loyal readers of this series know.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A National Park Service in NEW YORK CITY????? June 16 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Who knew? A National Park Service exists in New York City. Yes - at The Statue of Liberty! Anna Pigeon is a guest, rather than a working ranger, while she waits for news about her sister, Molly. Molly is in critical condition with complications that followed an operation. Anna races between The Statue of Liberty and the hospital. She works to solve the murders of a young teen girl and a NPS ranger/guard, both of whom appear to have 'fallen' from The Statue of Liberty. Meanwhile, her boyfriend Frederick tries to hide his love of Molly from Anna! The romantic element for Anna is Molly's doctor, who asks Anna on a date. And clueless Anna accepts. For a while, I wondered if Molly's remission reversal was due to the 'evil' doctor - but turns out his evil is in another arena.
This is probably my least favorite Nevada Barr book. I'll admit that I had a clue to the identity of the killer and accomplices about half way into the book. I was right. I think the most disappointing thing about this book is the urban setting. Barr can make any national park setting come alive, but the 'big city' of New York seemed stereotypical and uninteresting to the plot.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read May 11 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the 2nd Anna Pigeon Mystery I have read and liked it, but thought "Deep South" was a bit better. In this book, Anna is in New York to keep an eye on her sister who is in the hospital, but it seemed like she spent a heck of lot more time running around the city. Most of the story takes place on Ellis Island where Anna is staying with a fellow ranger. She takes to exploring the area and happens to be a witness when a young girl falls to her death off the Statue of Liberty. The police believe she may have been pushed by one of the security guards who, himself, ends up being the next to take the plunge. Of course, Anna can't rest (I noticed throughout the book she rarely slept) until she solves the mystery. Clues are hard to come by, but Anna manages to turn things up that the police couldn't. She ends up piecing things together and nearly gets herself killed in the process. The story tended to drag on a bit, but all in all it was a pretty good mystery. I guess I'm getting hooked on Anna Pigeon mysteries and will have to check out the others by Nevada Barr.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Author Rising April 12 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
More intensely personal than her earlier adventures, this story opens with an already distraught Anna Pigeon, Park Ranger, attending on her deathly sick confidant and sister in the urban jungle of NYC, while bunking with a friend on Liberty Statue Island. This story has greater philosophical, or morose, depth to the character, full of ruminations, and glorying in the decay of once urban splendor. I don't recall such a passionate dislike of cities on Anna's part. The scenes shift between New York harbor and the uptown hospital, islands of familiarity connected by the subway. She effectively communicates feeling very alone in a crowded city, her sister dying, a lover wandering, a roommate hostile. Barr employs the current ghost fad, but to her own ends to create a creepy and vaguely sinister Ellis Island.
Many clues to the subtly developing mysteries are dropped, but I wrote most off as just part of a coincidental ghost story given for atmosphere. There's even one amazing point where Anna actually lists all the clues flat out, as the eureka moment flashes into her bruised head, although much remained unclear in mine. Very effective. Barr's writing has improved steadily, abetted by the fact each story is different and appropriate to wildly different National Park settings: mountain, lake, cliff, forest, beach, cavern, and now historical statue. She gives us some of the local insider lore in Anna's conversations, but skillfully avoids potted "ranger lectures." Hmm, what's left to do...river, military, museum, scenic, volcanic.... Anywhere I look forward to the next.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great backdrop in Ellis Island!
Since this was my first Anna Pigeon mystery I didn't have any problem seeing her in a national park that wasn't so "natural. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2002 by Lobannio
5.0 out of 5 stars Great backdrop in Ellis Island!
Since this was my first Anna Pigeon mystery I didn't have any problem seeing her in a national park that wasn't so "natural. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2002 by Lobannio
3.0 out of 5 stars Does Liberty Fall?
I haven't read a mystery for many decades and this was a good read as I finished the book (which is a good sign), however, felt the evil one(s) were not much of the story. Read more
Published on April 9 2002 by Brady L. Buchanan
2.0 out of 5 stars I would have edited this book considerably!
After loving Barr's 'Deep South' I was disappointed with 'Liberty Falling'. The storyline contained much redundancy and what can only be called filler, in what was a terrific... Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2002 by Kathy M. Overton
4.0 out of 5 stars great mystery!
I have liked and admired Anna Pigeon since I read Nevada Barr's first book in this series but this is the first time that I really -liked- Anna as a person. Read more
Published on May 8 2001 by Rissa
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Barr's best written mystery novels!
Barr is definitely one of the current most intelligent writers of this genre. It is always a pleasure to pick up one of her books, because her writing is so well done and her... Read more
Published on March 5 2001 by K. L Sadler
3.0 out of 5 stars Liberty Flunked
Nevada Barr needs to return to settings that enable her to describe nature, animals and peoples' reactions to them. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2001 by Connie Copenhaver
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Liberty Falling is the first Anna Pigeon mystery I have read and I will definitely check into the others! Being a native NYer I was intrigued by the setting of Liberty Island. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2001 by "momfed"
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved learning more about Liberty Island but...
lately Barr's mysteries leave me cold. I enjoyed her earlier books and their descriptions of our National Parks. Her musings are humorous and entertaining. Read more
Published on Nov. 26 2000
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