Picks and Pans Review: Beach Book of the Week

updated 06/27/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/27/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>A SUPERIOR DEATH by Nevada Barr

A tough and resourceful female forest ranger—a description that fits the author as well as the lead character—gets this novel moving by rescuing two drunk men who can't handle their leaky boat. By the end of the tale she has come across apparent cannibalism and incest, not to mention murder deep beneath the waters of Lake Superior, where this slice of small-town life is set. Barr shares with Arthur Conan Doyle the assumption that evildoing in the countryside can be far more vile than anything in the mean streets of cities. But there's a modern feminism in her freewheeling heroine, who is up for everything from a fistfight to a one-night stand. (Putnam, $19.95)

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