Published by Penguin on 1/23/2014
Buy from IndieBound
In a newsworthy story that shocks Boston, Pirio Kasparov miraculously survives for four hours in frigid North Atlantic waters after the fishing boat she is on is destroyed by another vessel. After coming to, Pirio is heartbroken to learn that Ned, her fisherman friend and the father of her friend Thomasina’s son, was killed in the accident. Sensing the collision was no accident, Pirio sets out to find the boat that caused the damage and begins to unravel a tangled web of connections that go much deeper than she imagined.
North of Boston is more of a straight thriller than I would usually consider, but I’ve been trying to branch out with my reading a bit this year. Debut novelist Elisabeth Elo weaves together numerous, seemingly far-flung threads, into a strong narrative. From alcoholism to family dynamics, environmentalism and whaling, Elo works her way through a web of important themes without taking her novel from a thriller to an issue book.
Pirio’s quick wit and layered background make her a strong protagonist, though she does make the novel’s secondary characters feel somewhat flat. That tough spirit carries Pirio through pages of unexpected, yet believable, events in a fun novel that will keep readers both guessing and thinking through the end.