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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Currently reading

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ann J. Lane
Wizard and Glass
Stephen King, Dave McKean
River of Blue Fire
Tad Williams
Richard Ford
Progress: 36/420 pages

A Dance of Cranes / Steve Burrows

A Dance of Cranes - Steve Burrows

A trail of murder leads Domenic Jejeune across a vast continent.

Newly estranged from his girlfriend, Inspector Domenic Jejeune returns to Canada, where he soon receives news that his brother has gone missing in Wood Buffalo National Park while conducting field research on Whooping Cranes. Jejeune immediately heads out West to try to find him. 

Meanwhile, back in the U.K., Jejeune’s plan to protect his ex-girlfriend from a dangerous adversary has failed, and she has also gone missing. In Jejeune’s absence, it falls to his trusty sergeant, Danny Maik, to track her down. But there is far more to the situation than either of them anticipated. And time is running out for all of them.

Well, this book was a treat--I had a volunteer job long ago where I exercised Whooping Crane chicks, which were subsequently released to the wild in Florida. I spent many hours doing what I came to call my walking meditation, wearing a baggy white costume which covered my head and interacting with the chicks using a hand puppet. Left to their own devices, the chicks would linger by the food bowl and grow so fast that their long toes would curl. My job was to convince them to go walking with me, wearing off some calories and keeping their limbs and toes nice & straight. It could often be hot, boring work, but I considered it my personal National Geographic moment and thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

I have also visited Wood Buffalo National Park, where Domenic Jejune ends up in this installment of the birder murder mysteries. My time was spent merely on the safe periphery, rather than out in the muskeg, where Jejune seeks his brother, but it is a large, lonely land and the bugs are out of this world! Between mosquitoes and black flies, my friend and I came to regret that we were camping!

I enjoyed the book very much, despite the pattern that seems to be developing of Inspector Jejune nearly dying in each story. His investigations take him into wilderness and the associated risks of those locations can support this plot device to some extent, but I hope there aren’t any near-death experiences in the next book. 

That is, I’m assuming there will be a next book, as Mr. Burrows seems to have left us with enough unanswered questions about the general story arc to require another volume!