|Title:||Girl in Snow|
|Published:||August 1, 2017, Simon & Schuster|
|No. of Pages:||368|
|Cover Price:||$26.00 Hardcover, $16.00 Paperback, $10.99 Kindle|
Have you ever read a book with disturbing, unlikeable characters and an uncomfortable plot (as well as uncomfortable sub-plots) (Gone Girl comes to mind), yet you can’t put it down? Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka is just that kind of a book. 15 year-old Lucinda Hayes has been found murdered on the playground of a nearby school. Cameron Whitley is a strange kid with few friends who has been stalking Lucinda for years (he calls it “statue nights” where he sneaks out of his room and simply watches Lucinda); he is of course a prime suspect, as well as overweight, acne-scarred, backwards Jude Dixon-Burns, who lives in an abusive home with an alcoholic mother and only a homeless man as a friend, who hates Lucinda because she is popular. Russ Fletcher is the police officer investigating the murder in this small Colorado town. He is very backward, has no ambition, has been friends with Cameron’s mother, Cynthia for years (was her husband, Lee’s partner until Lee left after a scandal some years before), and is married to a Mexican National, Inéz, whose brother, Ivan, is the night janitor at the school; Ivan is a suspect because he discovered the body and because he is a convicted felon.
The book is written in the style of Gone Girl, in that the chapters are entitled Cameron, Jude, or Russ, and tell the story through each of those characters. The novel is extremely well-written, and the author is able to tell the story with amazing expertise, especially since this is a debut novel for Kakafka. Through her writing, she is able to invoke emotions in readers that are unexpected, and the dénouement is quite surprising.
While this is an uncomfortable read, it is highly recommended for anyone who is looking for something different. Although the style of this novel has been compared to Gone Girl, the story is nothing like it and this unique story will appeal to readers who enjoy suspense, thrillers, general fiction, and good writing.
Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.