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North of Boston Paperback – 2 Jan 2014

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472206339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472206336
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 3 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,726,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'This intense, slow-burning literary thriller, Elo's debut, paints a subtle portrait of a strong and believable heroine ... On this evidence Elo, a creative writing teacher in Boston, could well become a major force in the thriller world' (Daily Mail)

'Loyal and tenacious Pirio is a marvellous protagonist. I can't wait to read more about her' (Sun)

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)

North of Boston is a gripping and unorthodox thriller, packed with intriguing characters and unexpected twists (Tom Perrotta)

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... What a terrific novel (Margot Livesey)

[An] outstanding debut (Publishers Weekly)

Book Description

A powerful, page-turning thriller set in terrifying yet beautiful terrain, featuring a remarkable heroine. For fans of Dennis Lehane, Peter Hoeg's Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow and readers who love stories with a dark, gripping mystery at their heart.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Jeff VINE VOICE on 11 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm not too sure what this novel is meant to be - it's mainly an eco-thriller but has many other parts which are unnecessary and just don't fit. The main character, Pirio,falls into the sea and apparently survives for longer than most of us would. This astounds the US Navy so they do tests and I'm thinking what on earth this has to do with the story. As it turns out - nothing. Pirio has a friend called Thomasina who is totally superfluous to the story. She is a truly awful character. She is the mother [biologically] of Noah. Oh come on - in a novel with a maritime eco problem as a theme, is this the best name to use, seriously? Both Pirio and Thomasina are extremely rich and I failed to sympathise with either of them. You're the heiress to a perfume fortune and you phone in with a sickie? What, like the rest of us? Ho Ho! When she's got fed up and angry with Thomasina's angst, Prio sets off to deal with bad guys who are doing things they shouldn't in the Arctic. Guess what! They're rich as well! But to balance things out, there's a former lover who calls her "darlin' ". I think this is meant to show that he's Irish.
But it all ends happily. Well, sort of.
For all that, it does read well and like Pirio, I find what she uncovers reprehensible and I was willing her to succeed. For the most part, it's quite well written. I do, however, wonder about lines like "I know you must be hurting and I always want to be there for you." and why is an only child's Christmas morning described as "pathetic"? I have serious issues with the amount of bad language though. I've often thought it a sign of a poor writer. I found the last three words of Chapter 5 deeply objectionable.
Perhaps it needed better editing? Certainly a few relatively small tweaks would have made it a better novel. And a better title would help.
I'm sorry to be so negative about a first novel but I feel it should have been worked on a bit more. Words that I'm sure Ms Elo has used herself to her students?
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I remember being almost half way through and wondering where this book was going, other than a meander through the lives of our principal character Pirio, and those around her who are affected by the death of Ned, father to Noah, ex-lover to Noah's mother Thomasina, and friend of Pirio, who has died in a fishing accident. The book eventually settles into the whodunit the blurb above says it is, and the final section is written at a brisk pace that's absorbing. I thought it all ended rather quickly, given all the detail that comes before, although to be fair, there's a degree resolution of some issues, if not all.
There's a lot of detail here, and this is a densely written book, but in whodunits you're looking ahead trying to figure things out, and if you're not sure what you're trying to figure out, then I for one, get frustrated. There's loads of back story and information about people, and I didn't know what was significant, and what was world building. Is Pirio's tolerance to cold, made much of at times, significant? And how about her father's past, her mother's perfume, a renewed contact with an old lover, the navy's interest?
For some reason I didn't engage with Pirio - warm and cuddly she ain't! I found her sleuthing at times (a) unlikely, or (b) really, really stupid - potentially dangerous, not only to her but to those she was blithely involving.
The setting for this book is interesting - the rough world of fishing against the more elegant world of perfume creation, together with alcoholism, kicking against your past, friendship, love for family, friends, children, lovers, and I had no problem finishing it, even if it did take a while to grab my interest. It's well written in the first person, with lots of detail and observation, and I loved Noah - far too wise for his years, but still engagingly young. There are clues dropped early on that only make sense at the end, so maybe I'll try it again with the benefit of hind sight...
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In a thick fog a freighter collides with a lobster boat, Molly Jones. The captain Ned is killed and the only passenger, Pirio Kasperov finds herself in the icy cold waters of the ocean. She is found by the Coast guard hours later, a surprise survivor as few live in such low temperatures.

Pirio returns home and see her godson Noah and his mother, Thomasina, a close friend. Thomasina is addicted to both alcohol and drugs, but is trying to break her habits to be a good mother.

The navy are interested to know how Pirio was able to survive the extreme conditions. She agrees to undergo tests, but leaves suddenly after a call from Noah. The boy is clever and understanding and as he trusts Pirio always turns to her for help.

When Pirio has seen that Noah is safe she begins her own investigation into the loss of the Molly Jones and the death of Ned. She comes up against a wall of silence.

Pirio meets Mrs. Smith, a former employee of Ocean Catch a large fishing organisation. Mrs Smith gives as much information as she can remember. Ned had also worked for the Company, but suddenly left and unusually was given the Molly Jones as a gift.

After many dead end enquiries Pirio meets Parnell who now becomes involved in the investigation. He arranges for her to get aboard the Sea Wolf, a vessel that goes on long voyages to undisclosed destinations. However, when Pirio goes to join the ship she finds herself taken on board the galaxy a more luxurious vessel with a group of very wealthy men on board.

They set sail and Pirio now finds she is trapped on board with an unpleasant ex. boyfriend, Johnny, as part of the crew. Slowly she discovers the true purposes of the voyages.
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