by Elisabeth Elo
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Natalie March is a successful surgeon enjoying a busy life in Washington DC. As her demanding career has left little time for friends or romance, her deepest relationship is with her mother, Vera March, a Russian immigrant and MS patient confined to a rehab center. Vera is still haunted by the fact that her Ukrainian parents were sent to the gulag, Stalin's notorious network of labor camps, when she was just a baby. All her life she has presumed that they perished there along with millions of other Russian citizens. Natalie would do anything to heal her mother's psychic pain: it's the one wound that she, a doctor, cannot mend.
When a young Russian dancer comes to Natalie's office claiming to be her cousin, and providing details about her family that no stranger could know, Natalie must face a surprising truth: her grandmother, Katarina Melnikova, is still very much alive. Natalie is thrilled to think that her Russian relatives are reaching out after so many years. In fact, her cousin has a darker motive for making contact. Suggesting that her family is in grave danger from Putin's government, she pleads for Natalie's help to defect, and Natalie soon finds herself caught in a web of shocking family secrets that will pit her against Russian security forces and even elements within her own government.
In Finding Katrina M. by Elisabeth Elo, Natalie March travels to Russia to meet her grandmother and fulfill her mother’s wishes, but soon finds herself caught up in a deadly game.
Natalie is a successful surgeon in Washington D.C. and an only child. When a young Russian woman arrives at her clinic, she soon learns the grandmother she thought had died in a Soviet work camp lived. Saldana Tarasova is a Russian dancer, and she asks Natalie to help her defect but before she can even speak to an immigration lawyer, her cousin is murdered. Natalie believes her death isn’t a burglary gone wrong, but everyone from the police to the CIA argue otherwise. After contacting Saldana’s mother, Natalie’s mother convinces her to travel to Russia and meet her grandmother. But when Natalie arrives in Russia, no one is there to greet her and Natalie soon finds herself caught up in a deadly web as she hunts for her missing cousin.
Reindeer camps, mines, Russian prisons and rural villages await you. I found myself pulled into the story even as Natalie’s actions made me freakout. Me, I am not sure I could have been as brave as Natalie, or maybe it wasn’t that she was brave, but each small step led to a bigger web she needed to escape from. From government cover ups to spy chases this story had it all. We learn about prisoner camps, past and present and travel throughout Russia as Natalie hunts for her cousin, uncovers danger and searches for her family. Will she find them? Will she ever make it home?
There were a few times the story slowed but the overall pacing was well done and engaging. Some aspects of events rang true while others seemed made for the big screen, but Elo pulled it all together and created a tale that kept me engaged. I read the tale in two sittings and closed it satisfied.
Russian prisons, reindeer camps, and danger await you in Finding Katrina M. Perfect for fans of thrillers, international spy chases, and cultural reads.Finding Katrina M. by Elisabeth Elo is the perfect read for fans of thrillers, international spy chases, and cultural reads. Click To Tweet
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