cover image Finding Katarina M.

Finding Katarina M.

Elisabeth Elo. Polis, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1-947993-43-3

At the start of this gripping thriller from Elo (North of Boston), surgeon Natalie March meets Saldana Tarasova, a Russian ballerina performing in the city, in her Washington, D.C., office. Saldana tells Natalie that they are cousins and that Katarina Melnikova, their mutual grandmother, now 89, is living in Siberia. Natalie and her mother, Vera, believed that Katarina had died in a Stalin-era work camp more than five decades ago when Vera was a small child. Saldana confides that she’s worried about the safety of her own mother and brother and asks Natalie to help her settle in the U.S. Before Natalie can contact an immigration lawyer, Saldana is murdered. Vera, meanwhile, begs Natalie to go to Russia and find Katarina. Once there, Natalie is pulled into a maelstrom of intrigue, becoming the target for CIA operatives as well as the Russian secret service. Fascinating historical details encompass uranium mining, the gulags, and cultural life in the Soviet era. Natalie’s tense and illuminating journey will enthrall readers. [em]Agent: Esmond Harmsworth, Aevitas Creative Management. (Mar.) [/em]