Leave No Trace

Written by Mindy Meija

Review written by Andrew Hill

A former Customs and Police Officer, Andrew Hill is just putting the finishing touches to the first book in a crime series set in the New Forest, where he lived for 30 years. An avid reader across the crime genre and regular at Crimefest, he now lives in West Sussex and works in property.


Leave No Trace
Quercus
RRP: £14.99
Released: September 4 2018
PBK

Maya Stark works at Congdon Psychiatric Institute as a speech thrapist and at the opening of the book has just been attacked by nineteen year old Lucas Blackthorn. Lucas. Someone who has ‘come back from the dead’.

It appears that Lucas and his father vanished into the wilds of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters some ten years ago, after his father was suspected of involvement in the death of their landlady.

Arrested whilst raiding a store, Lucas appears to be violent and uncommunicative. But over time he opens up to Maya, shedding some doubt on his involvement in the landlady’s death - and revealing that his father is still alive, but very sick.

As their relationship grows, it’s clear that Maya and Lucas have some common strands to their lives. Maya’s mother abandoned her, after some idyllic time spent in the Boundary Waters. Maya herself was a ‘loner’ and when two boys assaulted her, she killed one of them, and became a patient in Congdon’s Psychiatric Institute.

These are two people with fractured childhoods, and an inability to forge relationships with others in their age group. However, as they grow closer, a plan is hatched to break Lucas out of Congdon and get him back to his father in the wilderness.

This journey of discovery for the two central characters is handled with subtlety by the author and is central to the story’s arc. They set themselves on a road that will lead them to the truth of what happened to Maya’s mother, the death of the landlady and how they come realise their lives are more intertwined than they’d assumed. It’s skilfully revealed.

This book is hard to pigeonhole in the crime genre, and that makes it an intriguing and involving addition to the genre.



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