This debut mystery revolves around thirty-year-old Pirio Kasparov, New Englander of Russian descent and heiress to a high-end perfume company. While out lobstering with her fisherman friend Ned, their boat is deliberately rammed by a freighter and only Pirio survives the extreme cold of the North Atlantic. Sign aboard with Pirio as her exploration for answers starts on the docks of Boston and finishes near the Arctic, with a detour along the way to Florida at the request of the United States Navy - how did Pirio survive in the freezing Atlantic? This engaging novel interweaves Pirio’s life with subjects such as perfumes, endangered species, alcoholism, and family relationships. Will Pirio find the why of death on the ocean – both human and animal – and those responsible? This is an intriguing thriller for readers who enjoy the intermingling of social classes, voyages on the seas or life in New England.
--Adrean— From Adrean Darce Brent
“In this gritty debut thriller, Pirio Kasparov has an unusually high tolerance for survival in cold water, a fact that captures the interest of the Navy and the attention of the thugs who were responsible for her submersion. Pirio, the only child of a wealthy, cynical Russian and his late wife, developed the attitude and instincts of a street fighter in boarding school, skills she will need when she decides to investigate why the boat she was on was rammed, her friend killed, and her godson left without a dad. Fast paced, atmospheric, and detailed, Elo's novel will have you reading way past your bedtime!”
— Kathleen McGonagle, Buttonwood Books & Toys, Cohasset, MA
“An utterly riveting debut thriller! Pirio Kasparov is one of the best protagonists I've read in years, tough, cynical, wry and compelling. Her determination to discover the truth behind her friend's murder will earn your admiration, while her growing desire to be a better daughter, friend, and person will win your heart.”
—Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Fear Nothing
"Set on the gritty Boston waterfront, Elisabeth Elo's novel starts off as a murder mystery and slowly builds into something larger and more disturbing. North of Boston is a gripping and unorthodox thriller, packed with intriguing characters and unexpected twists."
—Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Nine Inches and The Leftovers
"I wish I had a friend like Pirio Kasparov—intelligent, loyal, brave, and funny. From the opening pages of North of Boston I was enthralled and deeply committed to following Pirio wherever her brilliant author decided to send her next. What a terrific novel."
—Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
“As someone who has spent her life on the sea, I can tell you that Elisabeth Elo knows her stuff. Terrific fishing details, a fast-paced plot, and a heroine named Pirio Kasparov who steals the show. A great debut!”
—Linda Greenlaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Hungry Ocean and Lifesaving Lessons
"In North of Boston, Elisabeth Elo has written a modern, sophisticated, and compelling thriller. Her plot is original, her details deft, and her heroine utterly remarkable."
—Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street
"Tough and smart, Pirio Kasparov comes alive in this fast-paced novel of unconventional plot twists and damaged relationships."
—Audrey Schulman, author of Three Weeks in December
"Pirio Kasparov, the no-nonsense star of Elisabeth Elo’s debut novel, North of Boston, is a multifaceted character. Like its protagonist, North of Boston is many things—a murder mystery, an environmental thriller, and a domestic drama."
—The Boston Globe
"North of Boston grapples with and melds seemingly disparate subject matter (commercial fishing, perfume, alcoholism, issues of class, environmental consciousness, self-determination) in an original and entertaining way . . . Judging from North of Boston, Pirio’s next puzzle promises to be nothing short of unpredictable and exciting."
“Pirio Kasparov is an alluring heroine. She’s sharp-witted, hell-bent on finding the truth, and her narrative voice is laced with surly sexiness. Pirio’s baldly honest, slightly melancholic reflections and Elo’s use of extreme natural settings will have strong appeal for Scandinavian crime fans. An impressive debut with surprising literary depth.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Elo’s outstanding debut stars an intelligent, confident woman of Russian descent, Pirio Kasparov . . . The brisk plot smoothly incorporates such far-flung subjects as environmental issues, the fishing industry, and the perfume business.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Gritty downtown Boston and the awe-inspiring but unforgiving North Atlantic coast come to life in Elisabeth Elo’s debut suspense novel . . . readers will . . . be rooting for the doggedly determined Pirio right to the end."
“The novel’s subplots ripple out from the opening collision, circling a story rich with wicked smart allusions to Russian literature and clever nods to Western culture's most famous fishing story — ‘Moby-Dick.’ Pirio is a fascinating character and Elo a noteworthy new voice in the genre.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“The author chose the thriller genre for her debut novel because she loves a strong protagonist who drives the action. She’s created a dandy in Pirio Kasparov.”
—Fort Worth Star-Telegram