Genres: Mystery, Crime, Drama
Add it to your TBR: Goodreads
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book will be published on August 1st 2017.
I was curious about Girl in Snow after seeing a review from Jay about it, and it seemed to me that the book was a study of human relationships and the complexity of personalities, with a death of a girl as its background. And yes, that is exactly what the story was like. It’s a mystery with characters full of secrets, and it starts with a 15-year-old girl dead in the snow, but it’s not a thriller.
Who Are You When No One Is Watching?
When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.
In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory. Compulsively readable and powerfully moving, Girl in Snow offers an unforgettable reading experience and introduces a singular new talent in Danya Kukafka.
My first thought when I started reading Girl in Snow was that maybe it would be similar to Everything I never told you, and there are some parallels indeed: they both start with a girl who is dead, both books are not whodunits, and also they study more the characters touched by the tragedy than the death of the girl. Keeping that in mind, I quite enjoyed this novel.
It’s quite good for commuting, since the chapters aren’t too long and the book itself is around 370 pages long. But the most interesting part, for me, were the characters. They are all twisted, broken and dark, and although I personally detested Cameron (far too creepy) and didn’t like Russ either, I was fascinated by some of the characters’ back stories. None of them were likable, although I am not sure Kukafka meant them to be. For me, this gave the book some charm – you dislike them all, but you still want to know who they are and what they hide.
Since I am a sucker for books about not-so-perfect marriages, I must confess the Russ & Inés parts were very interesting to me, along with the parts where Cynthia appeared.
As for the less positive aspects: I would have liked Girl in Snow much better if it had been written as a literary work or a thriller or both. Its execution felt like it’s somewhere in between, and it lacked a bit both instead of being a nice mixture. The ending was also somewhat disappointing, although I won’t go into detail here not to spoil it. Despite the story being slow paced, I found the book quite quick to read.
All in all, I liked the book, and I would like to read more of the author in the future.
Verdict: This book is entertaining and a good choice if you’re looking for a slow-paced mystery which uncovers the stories of characters. If you like dark, broken characters, you might really enjoy this! If you prefer crime thrillers and whodunits, this is not for you.