Finding Katarina M. by Elisabeth Elo

March 18th, 2019 Kimberly Review 15 Comments

18th Mar
Finding Katarina M. by Elisabeth Elo
Finding Katarina M.
by Elisabeth Elo
Genres: Thriller
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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.

ARC REVIEW Standalone SUSPENSE thriller

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

About Elisabeth Elo

Elisabeth Elo

Elisabeth Elo is the author of NORTH OF BOSTON, chosen by Booklist as a Best Crime Novel Debut of the Year. Published in six countries, it was also an Indie Next selection and a Book of the Month / Literary Guild Selection. Elisabeth’s second suspense novel, FINDING KATARINA M. Elisabeth grew up in Boston, attended Brown University, and earned a PhD in American Literature at Brandeis. She worked as a children’s magazine editor, a high-tech product manager, and a halfway house counselor before starting to write fiction.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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15 Responses to “Finding Katarina M. by Elisabeth Elo”

  1. Lorna

    I’m confused. She’s searching for her cousin in Russia but I though she was dead? I thought she was to meet her Grandmother in Russia? Anyway, this sounds like it was a fun and full of adventures read. No romance?

  2. Sophia Rose

    I do miss the old spy thrillers that took us into Russia or behind the Soviet bloc. This does sound great for all that.

  3. Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind

    Very different story than what I’m used to. I don’t think I’ve read a book set around Russia before and that seems to be a shame. I love mysteries and thrillers plus this plot seems like something I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts (:

    Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind recently posted: Murder at the Mill by M.B. Shaw
  4. Melliane

    Even if it slows sometimes, the topic looks intriguing and I was curious to know how it was. Maybe one day. I’ve never read a book set in Russia

  5. sjhigbee

    This one sounds packed full of intriguing adventure – a cracking review with both the strengths and weaknesses well highlighted:)

  6. kindlemom1

    Good grief, it kind of does sound like this had it all but maybe almost too much so. Still, glad it was a good mystery!