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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
I have read all of Nevada's books, and this was one of my favorites. I did not find the jump between present day and Civil War times to be disorienting at all, in fact, I believe the interplay added to both stories. I'm devoted to Anna Pigeon, with her flaws and imperfections - she is the perfect combination of kick-ass gal with self-doubting everywoman. The diving...
Published on April 28 2004 by K. Schwehm

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3.0 out of 5 stars my least favorite of all Anna Pigeon's adventures
My main problem with Flashback is that the characters were too sketchy to be interesting. One was a manly man but loved to gossip, one was an attractive woman but had a bad posture. These features were insufficient to make the characters come alive. The romance between Anna and Paul Davidson also lacked excitement. Piedmont the cat, as depicted in this book, had a ton...
Published on April 8 2004


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites, April 28 2004
This review is from: Flashback (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read all of Nevada's books, and this was one of my favorites. I did not find the jump between present day and Civil War times to be disorienting at all, in fact, I believe the interplay added to both stories. I'm devoted to Anna Pigeon, with her flaws and imperfections - she is the perfect combination of kick-ass gal with self-doubting everywoman. The diving scenes and the culminating rain-soaked scene were excellently crafted and had me on the edge of my chair. I really loved this novel, and I hope Anna isn't getting to worn out on adventure. Even though I really like her fiance', I'm not sure I want her to stop getting into trouble all over the USA!
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3.0 out of 5 stars my least favorite of all Anna Pigeon's adventures, April 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Flashback (Mass Market Paperback)
My main problem with Flashback is that the characters were too sketchy to be interesting. One was a manly man but loved to gossip, one was an attractive woman but had a bad posture. These features were insufficient to make the characters come alive. The romance between Anna and Paul Davidson also lacked excitement. Piedmont the cat, as depicted in this book, had a ton more personality than Sheriff Davidson, the fiance, infrequently appearing in his sugary telephone persona.
The "two mysteries in one" format of Flashback could be refreshing, if the two mysteries were connected in more ways than the location. The historical mystery, contained in the letters of Anna's collateral ancestress Raffia, was too transparent for me. I guessed right away what caused the abrupt change in the behavior of Raffia's husband Joseph. Something else, although small, bothered me about Raffia's tale. Raffia and Tilly are sisters who have a large age difference. Raffia is 38 while Tilly is 16. I can buy that but then there is another sister, Molly, who is even older than Raffia. When their parents died, Tilly was 5. By that time Raffia must have been 27. Was she still unmarried at 27? I got the feeling that she lived in the same household with Tilly and helped raise her and that Molly, having assumed the role of the family matriarch, oversaw Raffia's upbringing in some way. Unless I mixed something up, these numbers do not add up.
In conclusion, if you are already a Nevada Barr's fan, you won't want to miss Flashback. If you have not read other Nevada Barr mysteries, this book is not the best introduction.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Flash--I want my money--back, Feb. 21 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Flashback (Mass Market Paperback)
The reading was tedious and the forced metaphors were annoying; ex., her fingers were like white spiders. The book was loaded with these stupid metaphors. Was this really a bestseller? Golly jeez.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Bad, very bad! (Good for Insomniacs!), Nov. 15 2003
This review is from: Flashback (Hardcover)
This was painful, both my Wife and I are fans of the 'Anna Pigeon' series, so I thought to get the un-abridged CD for a trip across country, what a mistake! My God, this was dull, boring, and silly. How did I stay awake listening to this while driving, and why did my wife not shoot me for buying this, I just don't know?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Five, Sept. 25 2003
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This review is from: Flashback (Hardcover)
My girlfriend got me hooked on Nevada Barr. The setting, mysterious coincidences and twist add up to a pretty fun read. Just the ending disappoints a little.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Trapped in a Flashback!, Aug. 25 2003
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This review is from: Flashback (Hardcover)
Nevada Barr's primary character Ranger Anna Pigeon has always been neurotic. Some times more than other times and in the last several novels she seemed to finally be just a bit less annoyingly neurotic. Unfortunately, for most of this book, Anna is neurotic and stuck in the past in more ways than one.
As the book opens, Anna is temporarily supervising Fort Jefferson, on Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park off of Key West. The last supervisor of the park seems to have had a mental breakdown and is off on the mainland getting treatment after seeing ghosts and whatnot flitting around the fort. Anna has gone about as far as she can go in the Park Service to escape her own demons that haunt her by accepting this posting. She has taken the assignment so that she has time to think about a marriage proposal from Paul. Paul is still a minister, now recently divorced, and wants desperately to marry Anna. But he knows that her answer to pressure is to run as far as she can as fast as she can and has vowed to give her the time she needs to think about his offer. While she does love him, she isn't sure she is ready to once again try marriage as has been made abundantly clear several times in earlier books in this series.
Those issues remain for Anna and with little else to occupy her mind, she begins to think that she understands why the previous Supervisor went mad. Supervising a skeleton staff and very few visitors, Anna begins to look for something to occupy her mind instead of thinking about her life. Her sister Molly has sent to Anna to read a large packet of letters that were written to Anna's great grandmother, Peggy, from her sister Raffia who was married to a Captain station at the Fort shortly at the end of the Civil War. That same time saw the arrival of Dr. Samuel Mudd and Samuel Arnold after they were sentenced to prison time for their roles in the Lincoln assassination. Both men denied involvement.
Through a series of flashbacks in letter form, Anna begins to read of the heartbreak and struggle went through by Raffia during that time period. While that mystery occupies her mind, a modern day mystery involving mysterious boats at night and the near death of a Park Ranger occupies her waking thoughts. The stresses along with a series of other problems begin to take their toll on Anna and what is left of the skeleton staff. As she tries to figure out the present problems, the past continues to occupy more and more of her mental thoughts and before long; the veil between fantasy and reality for Anna becomes almost non-existent. Is she losing her mind or is she having help to crack and if so why?
Anna is at her most annoyingly neurotic during the first half of this four hundred page slow read which is something considering this is the tenth novel of the series. As she slowly loses her mind thanks to a plot device that is amazingly telegraphed like a neon sign, she sees ghosts and various apparitions. One is reminded of the many times James Lee Burke has used this same technique to great effect by way of his command of language and Nevada Barr does not come close in pulling the same effect.
Once she begins to regain her sanity and work the modern day case as well as the puzzle from the past, this novel improves tremendously. It ceases to wallow in the past on so many levels and instead moves forward steadily and with purpose. The story begins to take of with plenty of action and the many plot twists that have hallmarked her earlier work. But, one has to get through the first two hundred pages that are both literally and figuratively a "flashback" on many levels. It is ultimately worth the effort to read this book, but it is not Nevada Barr at her best. One hopes with several issues resolved apparently at the conclusion of this novel, Nevada Barr might once again bring back the Anna who was so good in her first book, Track of the Cat.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Flashback Boredom, Aug. 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Flashback (Hardcover)
I have been a fan of Nevada Barr since Track of the Cat. However, her last two or three books, including this one, have become mundane and I hate to say it, boring. Where is the sharp tongued, opinionated Anna Pigeon of days gone by? I was happy to see that Barr had moved the venue out of Mississippi (which may have worked adequately for one book, but certainly not more than one), but was disappointed by the result - Flashback. While the Dry Tortugas is an interesting locale, and even the plot line has promise, the story just doesn't deliver. The dangerous situations Anna finds herself in seem contrived and just unbelievable. The character herself seems muted and uninteresting. I think that's what I feel most let down about - the character has changed and not for the better. Could it be Barr's own personal life changes are being reflected too much in her character and not for the better? I don't know, but for the first time in this series I must say I am unlikely to purchase future installments.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flashback confusion, July 23 2003
By 
K. Eggleston (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Flashback (Hardcover)
I am an avid fan of Nevada Barr books - the great combination of national parks and mystery stories in her books blend together to form a unique and fantastic read. It is very hard to find her books here in Australia, so over time I have acquired the complete set of Anna Pigeon books via Amazon.
I managed to borrow Flashback from my local library, and read it in a few days. There were two factors that lead to only giving it four stars:
Being from Australia, I have little background knowledge of the American Civil War, and couldn't tell whether the characters such as Dr Samuel Mudd were based on real people or were fiction. I also found similar distance issues with Liberty Falling, as there were specific details that as a non-American, I couldn't quite relate to. I felt a little bit alienated whilst reading Flashback, and wondered whether I should undertake some research about the American Civil War before I continued any further. Nevertheless, I finished it without needing to.
Secondly, I also found the alternating chapters between Anna's activities and that of Aunt Raffia and Tilly hard to follow. A chapter would often end in a dramatic moment, and then the next would follow with a completely different tone. By the time that chapter was finished, I had forgotten what was going on with Anna, (or Raffia), from two chapters ago. As I read it over a few days, this meant a little bit of backtracking occasionally to remind myself of where everyone was at.
I still think that Firestorm and Track of the Cat are the best in the series, and Blind Descent the most vividly descriptive.
I would recommend any of the Anna Pigeon series to mystery readers, those interested in female leads, and even more so, those interested in descriptive stories set in wilderness areas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Her best . . . ., July 17 2003
By 
J. Kreuser (Green Bay, WI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Flashback (Hardcover)
I have read all of the Anna Pigeon books, and this is by far the best. Could be that I like stories on or in the water and stories about the Civil War--and this one had both. A previous reviewer did not like the way the book switched from chapter to chapter from the present to the flashback. That is a point I liked very much. Each chapter ended with you wanting to read more, and that is basic Writing 101 at its best! The clever ending tied the package up very neatly. This was Barr's best!
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4.0 out of 5 stars letters are great, June 27 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Flashback (Hardcover)
I love Nevada Barr & have all of her books. But this one was not her best. It starts out very slow. But poor Anna is almost killed again near the beginning of the book. But the best part of this book are the letters from her great-great Aunt. If fact they were so good that I read them to the end & then went back & read the story about Anna. This poor woman is almost killed at least 3 times in this story. The beginning is slow. It starts to pick up around the middle but the last of the book is so good you can't put it down. Even though it is not her best it is still a good book.
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Flashback
Flashback by Nevada Barr (Mass Market Paperback - Feb. 3 2004)
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