Like a ship barreling out of the dense North Atlantic fog, comes Elisabeth Elo—a darkly intoxicating, discordantly poetic, gutsy new voice in contemporary suspense fiction. Her novel, NORTH OF BOSTON, introduces Pirio Kasparov, a Boston-bred tough-talking girl, who, in a near brush with death, discovers her extraordinary ability to survive sub-freezing water. Elo’s gritty and gripping voice evokes the full palette of human emotion—it’s one that echoes the likes Peter Høeg, Laura Lippman, and even Dennis Lehane, but is indelibly her own.
Pirio is baiting lobster traps in Boston Harbor when out of the veil of mist comes a freighter, splitting the fishing boat she is on in half—the impact hurling her into the North Atlantic. Miraculously, she survives for hours in the nearly-frozen water before being rescued, though the boat’s owner, her friend, Ned, is not so lucky.
Though the tragedy leaves her deeply unnerved, Pirio is compelled to look after ten-year-old Noah, the son of the late Ned and her alcoholic prep school friend, Thomasina. But, Pirio can’t shake the lurking suspicion that the boat’s sinking was no accident—a suspicion seconded by her deeply cynical, autocratic Russian father, Milosa, who constantly reminds her nothing is ever what it seems.
With the help of a curious journalist, Pirio unravels a lethal plot taking her to the wilderness of the high north. To survive, she must not only overcome the icy water and a deadly betrayal, but she must confront her ultimate challenge: to trust herself.
This immersing, atmospheric page-turner, sweeps you from Boston Harbor to the Canadian Arctic, bringing the entire northern seaboard to life with beautifully haunting prose. But perhaps even more inspiring than the book’s setting, is its idiosyncratic heroine, whose unforgettable voice drives this adventure due north. Already working on a sequel featuring Pirio and the same ensemble cast, Elisabeth Elo is poised to become one of the suspense genre’s premiere female writers.
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NORTH OF BOSTON
By Elisabeth Elo
Pamela Dorman Books/Viking; ISBN: 9780670015658; On-sale: January 27, 2014; $27.95
ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK
“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)
“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
“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
“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
“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
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About the author: Elo grew up in Boston and went to Brown University. She worked as an editor, an advertising copywriter, a high-tech project manager, and a halfway house counselor before getting a PhD in American Literature at Brandeis University. Since then, she’s taught writing at Harvard, Tufts, and the evening school of Boston College. She is already hard at work on the second book starring the NORTH OF BOSTON ensemble cast.
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