Published by Viking on Jan 23, 2014
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Elisabeth Elo’s debut novel introduces Pirio Kasparov, a Boston-bred tough-talking girl with an acerbic wit and a moral compass that points due north. When the fishing boat Pirio is on is rammed by a freighter, she finds herself abandoned in the North Atlantic. Somehow, she survives nearly four hours in the water before being rescued by the Coast Guard. But the boat’s owner and her professional fisherman friend, Ned, is not so lucky. Compelled to look after Noah, the son of the late Ned and her alcoholic prep school friend, Thomasina, Pirio can’t shake the lurking suspicion that the boat’s sinking—and Ned’s death—was no accident. It’s a suspicion seconded by her deeply cynical, autocratic Russian father, who tells her that nothing is ever what it seems. Then the navy reaches out to her to participate in research on human survival in dangerously cold temperatures. With the help of a curious journalist named Russell Parnell, Pirio begins unraveling a lethal plot involving the glacial whaling grounds off Baffin Island. In a narrow inlet in the arctic tundra, Pirio confronts her ultimate challenge: to trust herself. A gripping literary thriller, North of Boston combines the atmospheric chills of Jussi Adler-Olsen with the gritty mystery of Laura Lippman. And Pirio Kasparov is a gutsy, compellingly damaged heroine with many adventures ahead.
REVIEW: When I was given the opportunity to read this book and I read the description I knew I was in for a treat. North of Boston is the debut of Elizabeth Elo.
Mini Review: North of Boston is a fantastic debut thriller where a mysterious boat accident unravels a remarkable investigation with unexpected twists and revelations. The characters are compelling, engaging, and have vivid personalities that are all around fascinating.
The plot revolves around the main character Pirio Kasparov. A smart woman with a wealthy background but one who has not let her riches get in the way to explore and experience life differently. The day Pirio Kasparov went to help her friend Ned she wasn’t feeling extraordinarily excited. The smell of the fish and the rocking of the ocean were making her seasick. What happens after, unravels into an intricate web of lies & doubts. Throw in unexpected family secrets, father/daughter estranged relationship drama and what you have as a result is North Of Boston.
The North of Boston is a modern tale that goes deep into exploring governmental agency bureaucracy, international crime and environmental issues. Though at times some of the characters come across as self absorbed or arrogant they can easily be compare to your next door neighbor. Each of their stories give depth to the drama and each one gave the story balance.
Elizabeth Elo ability to write a great prose is of a well seasoned writer, though at times sarcastically poetic and undeniably philosophical the humor and everyday monologue add a certain spark to this story. Fantastically descriptive, mature to an extreme and the touch of reality makes this book a must read. This story has a bit of everything, domestic violence, drugs addiction, parenthood & negligence. It even touches subjects such as environmental issues and animal cruelty. A well put and all around masterfully crafted thriller that should make the list of best books of 2014.