cover image Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Mindy Mejia. Atria/Bestler, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5011-7736-1

Freshly certified speech therapist Maya Stark, the narrator of this atmospheric though flawed psychological thriller from Mejia (Everything You Want Me to Be), knows she’s in over her head when Dr. Mehta—who only a few years ago was her own psychiatrist at the Duluth, Minn., mental hospital where she now works—pressures her into trying to break through to 19-year-old Lucas Blackthorn, a violent, silent new patient. Until his recent arrest during an attempted robbery, Lucas was presumed dead after vanishing a decade earlier with his father into the vast Boundary Waters wilderness on the Canadian border. The ruggedly handsome Lucas—and his single-minded determination to escape back into the wild to save his ailing parent—will soon affect Maya so deeply that she embarks on a series of increasingly dangerous decisions that could cost her job. Although overly plotted, especially with what feel like forced symmetries between Maya’s and Lucas’s backstories, the novel is saved by its arresting characters—none more so than the mysterious, primeval expanse of the Boundary Waters itself. Mejia remains a writer to watch. [em]Agent: Stephanie Cabot, Gernert Company (Sept.) [/em]