cover image The Girl in Duluth

The Girl in Duluth

Sigrid Brown. Sigrid Brown, $15.99 trade paper (204p) ISBN 978-0-578-33876-7

Set in Duluth, Minn., Brown’s affecting debut centers on 18-year-old June Bergeron, who becomes concerned when her mother, Tonya, with whom she has a fraught relationship, goes missing. Though June considers Tonya her parent “only in the strictest biological sense,” she joins her mother’s special friend, Frank, in searching for Tonya, alarmed that five other women, all matching Tonya’s age profile, have disappeared that year in northern Minnesota; three were eventually found murdered. June and Frank’s hunt for Tonya ends with their finding her dead of a gunshot wound. Unsatisfied by the obvious evidence of death by suicide, June starts an inquiry that leads her to believe her mother’s death might be connected with a sex-trafficking ring. Brown easily creates engagement with June, and poetic prose is a plus (in Tonya’s pocket is a note reading: “Do not be sad... Death is the ultimate voyage to the unknown... Look for me in the stars. Do not look for me in my body. I am not there!”). Fans of thoughtful crime fiction will hope for more from Brown. (Self-published)