I read a lot of thrillers and mysteries; it is very hard for me to find any originality in texts. Enter, Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka, which felt like a breath of fresh air for me. From the character development to the POV, I felt like this novel had something that others are lacking for me lately.
The plot opens with the discovery of a young girl (Lucinda), neck snapped, buried in the snow. From here, everything changes. Small town cop, Russ, begins to investigate while dealing with his own personal issues. A social pariah, Jade, is irritated with the hype; she hated Lucinda. Cameron, struggling with her death, and what he knows about it, is forced to face parts of himself that he longs to keep buried. Each character with a secret, each character seeking solace, Kukafka’s tale is weaved creating an unnerving story of love, loss and obsession.
The characters are 100% what made this novel for me; most mystery suspense titles have multiple POVs and characters, but they have similar MOs. You get the mother of the deceased or the boyfriend; someone who cares deeply about the deceased and who will stop at nothing to find a resolution. However, in Girl in Snow, Kukafka gives a narrative voice to a whole set of misfit characters. From Cameron, the boy next door turned stalker with psychopathic tendencies to Jade, the magic practising outcast who wished Lucinda dead, I was completely compelled as I turned the pages to see how they would all fit together and what role they played in her death.
Cameron was amazingly developed and by far my favourite player in the entire story. I was so impressed with his complexity and how it showed across the pages.
A majority of the plot is narrated through the eyes of the teenagers, giving this one a YA feel (which I usually have a major issue with), however, I didn’t find that an issue in this text and found it added to the ambiance instead of taking away. Kukafka seemed to find the perfect balance.
As much as I loved the characters and the development of them throughout the text, I did find the actual plot to be underwhelming and was left wanting a bit more by the end of the novel; however, my love for the characters completely beat out any of this nitpicking and I ended up loving the book overall.
If you want a mystery suspense that feels completely different, then you will love Girl in Snow. It comes out tomorrow, so be sure to mark your calendar and add this one to your TBR!