Nevada Barr's series character, park ranger Anna Pigeon, heads south in Borderline. She's accompanying her new husband and a quartet of teenagers on a rafting trip down the Rio Grande when trouble arrives. After their boat capsizes, they discover a pregnant woman whose dying plea is to save her baby.
That touches off a plot involving murder and adultery, along with the complicated politics of immigration and U.S.-Mexico relations. The latter proves to be a fruitful campaign issue for one of the book's less authentic characters, the scheming mayor of Houston who'd really rather be governor.
Borderline is entertaining enough, but its most likely appeal will be to existing fans of the series. Pigeon makes for an interesting character and the setting is well used, but the story just isn't all that interesting. Even cast against the backdrop of an important issue, the plot never manages to generate more than modest appeal.
From the Chicago Sun-Times, May 3, 2009