Saturday, May 18, 2019

Review - Finding Katarina M

Title:   Finding Katarina M
Author:  Elisabeth Eto
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:   Polis Books
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  352
Date of Publication:  March 19, 2019
My Rating:  4 Stars

From the author of the acclaimed NORTH OF BOSTON comes a riveting new thriller about an American doctor who travels to Russia to meet her estranged grandmother, only to uncover dark family secrets and a dangerous international plot. 

Natalie March is a successful doctor enjoying a busy life in Washington DC. She always thought that her maternal grandparents perished in the gulag, Stalin’s notorious network of labor camps. But when a young Russian dancer comes to her office claiming to be her cousin, Natalie must face a surprising truth: her grandmother, Katarina Melnikova, is still very much alive. Natalie eagerly travels to Siberia to meet her, only to be drawn into a web of mystery, intrigue, and danger that will push her to the limits of her endurance. 

How far will Natalie go to find Katarina M.? How much will she risk to protect her Russian family and her own country from a deadly threat? FINDING KATARINA M. takes the reader on an extraordinary journey across Siberia—to reindeer herding camps, Sakha villages, and parties with endless vodka toasts—while it explores what it means to be loyal to your family, your country, and yourself. 


Natalie March is a busy doctor whose life is upset when a woman from Russia, who claims to be her cousin, tells her that their grandmother is alive. This is after Natalie believed for years that she was dead. Her grandmother, Katarina Melnikova, suffered greatly at the hands of Stalin during the labor camps and Natalie is delighted that she is indeed alive. When her cousin is killed, Natalie is ever more determined to meet her grandmother.

She never expected, however, to be faced with danger. As a matter of fact, she is thrown right in the middle of international intrigue, but remains focused on finding her grandmother. Natalie becomes deeply embroiled with an unlikely assignment and is faced with protecting her family and her country. In so doing, she finds herself in hairy situations. More than once, I found myself holding my breath while reading this story.

I did not expect the action, mystery, espionage and more when I began this book. I was completely drawn into this story. It was a true thriller, but it was also very touching at times. I had a hard time putting this book down. For a doctor to become a spy of sorts was definitely intriguing, especially as she was in a world far different from her own.

Elisabeth Eto is a new name for me, but is definitely someone that I will follow and I look forward to reading much more by her.

Many thanks to Polis Books and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Elisabeth Elo grew up in Boston, attended Brown University, and earned a PhD in American Literature at Brandeis University.  She has published scholarly articles on subjects as diverse as Walt Whitman and Cinderella, and her essays and Pushcart-nominated short stories have appeared in a variety of publications.  Elisabeth worked as a magazine editor, a high-tech product manager, and a halfway house counselor before beginning to write fiction.

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