Finding Katarina M.
Elisabeth Elo (Author)
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DescriptionNatalie March is a respected surgeon enjoying a busy, productive life in Washington DC. As her demanding career has left little time for friends or romance, her deepest relationship is with her mother, Vera March, a Russian immigrant and MS patient confined to a rehabilitation center. Vera is still haunted by the fact that her Ukrainian parents, innocent of any wrongdoing, were sent to the gulag, Stalin's notorious network of labor camps, when she was just a baby. All her life she has presumed that they perished there along with millions of other Russian citizens. Natalie would do anything to heal her mother's psychic pain: it's the one wound that she, a doctor, cannot mend. When a young Russian dancer named Saldana Tarasova comes to Natalie's office claiming to be her cousin, and providing details about her grandmother that no stranger could know, Natalie must face a surprising truth: her grandmother, Katarina Melnikova, is still very much alive. She escaped from the labor camp, married a native Siberian, and had another child, Saldana's mother. Natalie is thrilled to think that her Russian family is reaching out and that Vera may be able to reunite with her mother after so many years. In fact, Saldana has a darker motive for making contact. Suggesting that her family is in grave danger from Putin's government, she pleads for Natalie's help to defect. Unwilling to break the law, Natalie puts her off. Then the unthinkable happens, and Natalie is drawn step by step into a web of family secrets that will ultimately pit her against Russian security forces and even her own government. How far will Natalie go to find Katerina M. and satisfy her mother's deepest wish? How much will she risk to protect her Russian family--and her own country--from a dangerous international threat? Masterfully plotted and beautifully written, FINDING KATARINA M. takes the reader on an extraordinary journey across Siberia--to reindeer herding camps, Russian prisons, Sakha villages, and parties with endless vodka toasts--while it explores what it means to be loyal to one's family, one's country, and ultimately to oneself.
February 18, 2020
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About the Author
Elisabeth Elo grew up in Boston. She has worked as an editor, an advertising copywriter, a high-tech project manager, and a halfway house counselor, and now teaches writing in the Boston area. Her essays and short stories have appeared in a variety of publications. She lived next to the ocean for many years and now resides in Brookline, Massachusetts. She is the author of the acclaimed novel NORTH OF BOSTON. Learn more about Elisabeth at www.elisabethelo.com.
Outstanding praise for FINDING KATARINA M. "Finding Katarina M. is an amazing accomplishment... Elo takes the reader on a trip to present-day Russia that's breathtaking in its scope and ambition. The story is tightly woven, the characters are complex and believable, and the setting is nothing short of a miracle in print." --Elizabeth George, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE PUNISHMENT SHE DESERVES Finding Katarina M. is a gem--a thriller that explores deeper questions of family ties and the long reach of history. Elo takes us on a spellbinding journey through modern Siberia...in a story that grips from beginning to end." --Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of JUDGMENT "Elisabeth Elo's fine new novel begins compellingly as a thriller but moves seamlessly into an intriguing journey of survival and self-discovery. I love a story whose twists are truly unpredictable, and Elo delivers in spades." --William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of ORDINARY GRACE and DESOLATION MOUNTAIN I picked up Elisabeth Elo's FINDING KATRINA M. just before bed, with the intention of peeking at the first few pages and calling it a night. That was a mistake. The mystery of Natalie March's family sucked me right in. Elo writes her characters with a perceptiveness and depth that takes this well-plotted mystery to another level. Prepare to be addicted from the get-go -- this one is riveting from page one." -- Jennifer Hillier, author of JAR OF HEARTS "(A) gripping thriller...Fascinating historical details encompass uranium mining, the gulags, and cultural life in the Soviet era. Natalie's tense and illuminating journey will enthrall readers." --Publishers Weekly Gripping, powerful and chillingly realistic, this gorgeously written thriller spins the relentless and passionate saga of a high-stakes search for family--a search that lures the determined Natalie March to the frightening ends of the earth. With its perfectly realized setting, emotional depth and bitter political realities, this proves Elisabeth Elo is a major talent." --Hank Phillippi Ryan, nationally bestselling author of TRUST ME The geographic and personal odyssey portrayed in this detailed and, at times, heart-stopping saga takes readers from a rational, cozy U.S. existence to a Siberian hut, with the personal transformations just as startling." --Booklist "Lives up to expectations...the descriptions of the people and places ring true...a fast-moving romp through the shadows of Siberia." --New York Journal of Books Praise for NORTH OF BOSTON "An utterly riveting debut thriller! Pirio Kasparov is one of the best protagonists I've read in years, tough, cynical, wry and compelling. Her determination to discover the truth behind her friend's murder will earn your admiration, while her growing desire to be a better daughter, friend, and person will win your heart." --Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Fear Nothing Set on the gritty Boston waterfront, Elisabeth Elo's novel starts off as a murder mystery and slowly builds into something larger and more disturbing. North of Boston is a gripping and unorthodox thriller, packed with intriguing characters and unexpected twists. --Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Nine Inches and The Leftovers I wish I had a friend like Pirio Kasparov--intelligent, loyal, brave, and funny. From the opening pages of North of Boston I was enthralled and deeply committed to following Pirio wherever her brilliant author decided to send her next. What a terrific novel. --Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy "As someone who has spent her life on the sea, I can tell you that Elisabeth Elo knows her stuff. Terrific fishing details, a fast-paced plot, and a heroine named Pirio Kasparov who steals the show. A great debut!" --Linda Greenlaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Hungry Ocean and Lifesaving Lessons In North of Boston, Elisabeth Elo has written a modern, sophisticated, and compelling thriller. Her plot is original, her details deft, and her heroine utterly remarkable. --Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street Tough and smart, Pirio Kasparov comes alive in this fast-paced novel of unconventional plot twists and damaged relationships. --Audrey Schulman, author of Three Weeks in December Pirio Kasparov, the no-nonsense star of Elisabeth Elo's debut novel, North of Boston, is a multifaceted character. Like its protagonist, North of Boston is many things--a murder mystery, an environmental thriller, and a domestic drama. --The Boston Globe North of Boston grapples with and melds seemingly disparate subject matter (commercial fishing, perfume, alcoholism, issues of class, environmental consciousness, self-determination) in an original and entertaining way . . . Judging from North of Boston, Pirio's next puzzle promises to be nothing short of unpredictable and exciting. --Kirkus "Pirio Kasparov is an alluring heroine. She's sharp-witted, hell-bent on finding the truth, and her narrative voice is laced with surly sexiness. Pirio's baldly honest, slightly melancholic reflections and Elo's use of extreme natural settings will have strong appeal for Scandinavian crime fans. An impressive debut with surprising literary depth." --Booklist (starred review) "Elo's outstanding debut stars an intelligent, confident woman of Russian descent, Pirio Kasparov . . . The brisk plot smoothly incorporates such far-flung subjects as environmental issues, the fishing industry, and the perfume business." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) Gritty downtown Boston and the awe-inspiring but unforgiving North Atlantic coast come to life in Elisabeth Elo's debut suspense novel . . . readers will . . . be rooting for the doggedly determined Pirio right to the end. --BookPage "The novel's subplots ripple out from the opening collision, circling a story rich with wicked smart allusions to Russian literature and clever nods to Western culture's most famous fishing story -- 'Moby-Dick.' Pirio is a fascinating character and Elo a noteworthy new voice in the genre." --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "The author chose the thriller genre for her debut novel because she loves a strong protagonist who drives the action. She's created a dandy in Pirio Kasparov." --Fort Worth Star-Telegram