Book Review: North of Boston by: Elisabeth Elo

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: December 30, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Synopsis: Boston-bred Pirio Kasparov is out on her friend Ned’s fishing boat when a freighter rams into them, dumping them both into the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Somehow, she survives nearly four hours before being rescued. Ned is not so lucky. Pirio can’t shake the feeling that what happened was no accident, a suspicion seconded by her cynical Russian-immigrant father. And when Pirio teams up with the unlikeliest of partners, she begins unraveling a terrifying plot that leads to the frozen reaches of the Canadian arctic, where she confronts her ultimate challenge: to trust herself.

Review: After a boat crash which leaves Pirio Kasparov afloat in the Atlantic and kills her friend, Ned, Pirio is known as The Swimmer. She’s the woman who survived deadly cold waters until her rescue by the Coast Guard. Noah is Pirio’s godson and the son of her best friend, Thomasina and Ned. She’s always looking after them both out of love and a sense of duty. Now Noah’s father is dead and Pirio has no answers for him. However, she’s suspicious of the crash and Ned’s death so she decides to look into the “accident” further. There’s much more than meets the eye to this accident and Pirio’s life may be in danger as she gets closer to the truth.

NORTH OF BOSTON starts out slowly, but picks up the pace as Pirio digs deeper into the boating “accident” which took the life of her friend and nearly her own. The characters were definitely well-developed, complex, and they felt ‘real’, as if you’d meet them on your travels in Massachusetts. The writing itself is superb, but I think the author got caught up in making the villains more movie villain than those you can find in everyday life. I think it would have worked better if the villains were a little more life-like and less over-the-top evil. Overall, NORTH OF BOSTON is a powerful story with a solid heroine.

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