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North of Boston    by Elisabeth Elo order for
North of Boston
by Elisabeth Elo
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Elizabeth Elo's North of Boston stars tough, strong-willed Pirio Kasparov. Out with her friend Ned on his fishing boat, Pirio inexplicably survives a long immersion in the icy North Atlantic after a freighter hits them. Ned is lost. Pirio's quest to find those responsible for this maritime hit-and-run takes her all the way to the Canadian Arctic - and back again.

Pirio's best friend Thomasina was married to Ned and their son Noah is Pirio's godson; she worries about Thomasina's drinking problem and Noah's welfare. Pirio's own mother died when she was ten. Her tough Russian father Milosa remarried and her new stepmother Maureen shipped her off to a boarding school with a sadistic headmaster. That's where she and Thomasina became friends for life. Pirio is not strapped for cash as she has inherited a major share of the very successful perfume business her parents created together.

Ned had worked for twenty years for a company called Ocean Catch before he quit. Why did they give him a lobster boat in parting and where is his missing computer? Pirio finds out that Ned and other Ocean Catch employees received large bonuses for special poaching voyages. When her source is killed, Pirio applies (through a friend of Ned's) to work at sea herself. And she has an ally on shore, a journalist.

Not too surprisingly it seems that the bad guys planned for this to be a one way trip for Pirio. But help comes from a very unexpected source and this amazing young woman survives yet another prolonged dip in icy waters. Quite a heroine, this champion of the 'abandoned, betrayed, and misunderstood.' I hope we'll see more of her!

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