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Amber's Thoughts

Reviews and updates from Amber Foxx, author of the Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Series



Dark and Compelling Mystery

Hard Truth - Nevada Barr

Anyone who thinks genre fiction is light or escapist will rethink that opinion when they read this. Barr tackles psychological, ethical, environmental and spiritual question with courage. It had to be an emotional workout to write this.


The things we don’t like to imagine happening, events that take away freedom of mind, of body, of soul, are explored in his book. It opens in the point of view of a woman who has recently been paralyzed in an ice-climbing accident, a woman whose life has been athleticism and adventure, now paraplegic and not taking it well. And then there’s the religious cult, and then … I won’t say more, to avoid spoilers.


Anna Pigeon remains a complex and intriguing protagonist, and the setting is, as always in Barr’s books, authentic and essential to the plot. I began to guess who the criminal was before this was revealed with certainty, but did not begin to guess the full nature of the crimes. I don’t think anyone could. The tension is sustained at incredible height, and resolved in an unexpected way. Did I quite believe that resolution? It felt a bit of a stretch but I liked it anyway.


Anna’s reflections at the end made me think about the way I feel after reading a book like this. You’ll know what I mean.