Polis Books

Finding Katarina M.

Available in hardcover and ebook March 19, 2019!

Outstanding praise for FINDING KATARINA M.

“Finding Katarina M. is an amazing accomplishment… Elo takes the reader on a trip to present-day Russia that's breathtaking in its scope and ambition. The story is tightly woven, the characters are complex and believable, and the setting is nothing short of a miracle in print.” ―Elizabeth George, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE PUNISHMENT SHE DESERVES

"Finding Katarina M. is a gem--a thriller that explores deeper questions of family ties and the long reach of history. Elo takes us on a spellbinding journey through modern Siberia…in a story that grips from beginning to end.” ―Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of JUDGMENT

“Elisabeth Elo’s fine new novel begins compellingly as a thriller but moves seamlessly into an intriguing journey of survival and self-discovery. I love a story whose twists are truly unpredictable, and Elo delivers in spades.” ―William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of ORDINARY GRACE and DESOLATION MOUNTAIN

"I picked up Elisabeth Elo’s FINDING KATRINA M. just before bed, with the intention of peeking at the first few pages and calling it a night. That was a mistake. The mystery of Natalie March’s family sucked me right in. Elo writes her characters with a perceptiveness and depth that takes this well-plotted mystery to another level. Prepare to be addicted from the get-go ― this one is riveting from page one.” ―Jennifer Hillier, author of JAR OF HEARTS

“(A) gripping thriller...Fascinating historical details encompass uranium mining, the gulags, and cultural life in the Soviet era. Natalie’s tense and illuminating journey will enthrall readers.” ―Publishers Weekly

"Gripping, powerful and chillingly realistic, this gorgeously written thriller spins the relentless and passionate saga of a high-stakes search for family--a search that lures the determined Natalie March to the frightening ends of the earth. With its perfectly realized setting, emotional depth and bitter political realities, this proves Elisabeth Elo is a major talent.” ―Hank Phillippi Ryan, nationally bestselling author of TRUST ME

"The geographic and personal odyssey portrayed in this detailed and, at times, heart-stopping saga takes readers from a rational, cozy U.S. existence to a Siberian hut, with the personal transformations just as startling.” ―Booklist

Natalie March is a respected surgeon enjoying a busy, productive life in Washington DC. As her demanding career has left little time for friends or romance, her deepest relationship is with her mother, Vera March, a Russian immigrant and MS patient confined to a rehabilitation center. Vera is still haunted by the fact that her Ukrainian parents, innocent of any wrongdoing, were sent to the gulag, Stalin’s notorious network of labor camps, when she was just a baby. All her life she has presumed that they perished there along with millions of other Russian citizens. Natalie would do anything to heal her mother’s psychic pain: it’s the one wound that she, a doctor, cannot mend.

When a young Russian dancer named Saldana Tarasova comes to Natalie’s office claiming to be her cousin, and providing details about her grandmother that no stranger could know, Natalie must face a surprising truth: her grandmother, Katarina Melnikova, is still very much alive. She escaped from the labor camp, married a native Siberian, and had another child, Saldana’s mother. Natalie is thrilled to think that her Russian family is reaching out and that Vera may be able to reunite with her mother after so many years. In fact, Saldana has a darker motive for making contact. Suggesting that her family is in grave danger from Putin’s government, she pleads for Natalie’s help to defect. Unwilling to break the law, Natalie puts her off. Then the unthinkable happens, and Natalie is drawn step by step into a web of family secrets that will ultimately pit her against Russian security forces and even her own government.

How far will Natalie go to find Katerina M. and satisfy her mother’s deepest wish? How much will she risk to protect her Russian family―and her own country―from a dangerous international threat? Masterfully plotted and beautifully written, FINDING KATARINA M. takes the reader on an extraordinary journey across Siberia―to reindeer herding camps, Russian prisons, Sakha villages, and parties with endless vodka toasts―while it explores what it means to be loyal to one’s family, one’s country, and ultimately to oneself.