“Elo’s first novel links the commercial fishing industry, the perfume industry, and conservation in a hunt for justice. Perfume executive Pirio Kasparov earns the name “The Swimmer” after surviving four impossible hours in freezing water after a bizarre hit-and-run incident in the ocean demolishes the fishing boat she was on, but her superhero status is no consolation when she informs her friend’s young son that his father didn’t survive… Pirio Kasparov is an alluring heroine. She’s sharp-witted, hell-bent on finding the truth, and her narrative voice is laced with surly sexiness. Pirio’s baldly honest, slightly melancholic reflections and Elo’s use of extreme natural settings will have strong appeal for Scandinavian crime fans. An impressive debut with surprising literary depth.”

Booklist, starred review

“Elo’s outstanding debut stars an intelligent, confident woman of Russian descent, Pirio Kasparov, who survives for nearly four hours in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic before being rescued. Pirio was helping lobsterman Ned Rizzo bait traps when his boat was rammed in the fog by a freighter about 25 miles northeast of Boston Harbor. Ned, the husband of a close friend Pirio met at boarding school in Maine, is presumed drowned.  Now dubbed “the swimmer” by the press, Pirio begins to believe that the collision at sea was deliberate.  She teams with investigative reporter Russell Parnell, following a trail from Boston to Canada’s Baffin Bay.  Pirio grew up in the shadow of her late mother, a beautiful model who died when she was 10, and inherited the cynicism of her father, who considered her a problem child.  Pirio’s ability to maneuver in various strata of Boston society, learned from her parents who both rose from humble origins, comes in hand in her quest for answers.  The brisk plot smoothly incorporates such far-flung subjexts as environmental issues, the fishing industry and the perfume business.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred review