“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 handy in her quest for answers.  The brisk plot smoothly incorporates such far-flung subjects as environmental issues, the fishing industry and the perfume business.”
Publishers Weekly,  Starred review

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

“This month, two Massachusetts writers are publishing new crime novels. But don’t look for cops, DAs, or chalk outlines in either book. Don’t expect to find private eyes with phone taps, long-focus camera lenses, and whiskey. The books, James Scott’s “The Kept” and Elisabeth Elo’s “North of Boston,” are expansive takes on crime. The prime mover in each story is a violent event resulting in death, but the path to whodunit is twisted with hidden family truths and moral reversals. The murder plots are compelling, yes, but the characters and their psychological issues are even more so.”
Matthew Gilbert, The Globe

“Elo…could well become a major force in the thriller world.”
Daily Mail

“The novel’s subplots ripple out from the opening collision, circling a story rich with wicked smart allusions to Russian literature and clever nods to Western culture’s most famous fishing story — ‘Moby-Dick.’  Pirio is a fascinating character and Elo a noteworthy new voice in the genre.”
–Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“The author chose the thriller genre because she loves a strong protagonist who drives the action.  She’s created a dandy in Pirio Kasparov.”
–Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Elo does a great job of cranking up the tension — Don’t get on the boat, Pirio! — which, when coupled with her knack for conjuring up her heroine’s often-icy surroundings, will have you cranking up the thermostat to quell the shivers.”
–Dallas Morning News

“Elo brilliantly crafts her mystery.”
–The Buffalo News

“There are gritty, hardcore mysteries and then there are gritty, witty mysteries that bring excellent humor, in-depth storytelling, and truly descriptive scenes together in a combination that makes you wish that the novel was playing out on the big screen. This particular debut is the latter; an amazing page-turner that brings Pirio Kasparov, an extremely witty girl from Boston, onto the literary scene.”
Suspense Magazine

“It’s hard to say which is the bigger star of the novel: Pirio or the places she goes. Elo evokes city bars, harbor politics and ocean voyages with equal ease. As much as Pirio belongs to the streets of her city, she’s also magnetically drawn to the sea. When Pirio boards a ship headed for the Canadian Arctic, we see the rocky coast and feel the sea spray right along with her. The later scenes in the whaling grounds of Cumberland Sound will both shock and inspire readers with their blend of realism and majesty.”

“Elo’s descriptive language is equally at home in Beacon Hill society as in the rough bars of Boston Harbor.  Pirio Kasparov is not only a woman with an extraordinary physiological tolerance for cold water; she’s also a character with legs. Watch for Elo’s future adventures of this plucky Boston woman who follows her instincts and heart more than her head.
Shelf Awareness

“The groundwork is well-laid for future Pirio Kasparov adventures.”

Pirio Kasparov, the no-nonsense star of Elisabeth Elo’s debut novel, “North of Boston,” is a multifaceted character. Like its protagonist, “North of Boston” is many things — a murder mystery, an environmental thriller, and a domestic drama.
Boston Globe

“An utterly riveting debut thriller! Pirio Kasparov is one of the best protagonists I’ve read in years, tough, cynical, wry and compelling. Her determination to discover the truth behind her friend’s murder will earn your admiration, while her growing desire to be a better daughter, friend, and person will win your heart.”
Lisa GardnerNew York Times bestselling author of Fear Nothing

“Elisabeth Elo has written a modern, sophisticated, and compelling thriller. Her plot is original, her details deft, and her heroine utterly remarkable.”
Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street

“Set on the gritty Boston waterfront, Elisabeth Elo’s novel starts off as a murder mystery and slowly builds into something larger and more disturbing. North of Boston is a gripping and unorthodox thriller, packed with intriguing characters and unexpected twists.”
Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Nine Inches and The Leftovers

“I wish I had a friend like Pirio Kasparov—intelligent, loyal, brave, and funny. From the opening pages of North of Boston I was enthralled and deeply committed to following Pirio wherever her brilliant author decided to send her next. Terrific!”
Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

“As someone who has spent her life on the sea, I can tell you that Elisabeth Elo knows her stuff. Terrific fishing details, a fast-paced plot, and a heroine named Pirio Kasparov who steals the show.  A great debut!”
Linda Greenlaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Hungry Ocean and Lifesaving Lessons

“Tough and smart, Pirio Kasparov comes alive in this fast-paced novel of unconventional plot twists and damaged relationships.
Audrey Schulman, author of Three Weeks in December

“Elisabeth Elo is another great writer to add to Massachusetts’ list of luminaries, which extends from Dennis Lehane to Ralph Waldo Emerson. NORTH OF BOSTON, her riveting and original story of a woman pushed to the limit, will keep you firmly glued to your seat.”
–Campus Circle

“NORTH OF BOSTON is captivating and intriguing, a successful standalone thriller with compelling characters.”
–Spencer Daily Reporter

“An entertaining read with unusual and unique characters including Boston fishermen, Russian immigrants, wealthy sportsmen and Canadian Inuits. A touch of an eco plot gives it something for everyone.”
–RT Reviews

“With a twisty story line, truly rotten villains, intriguing supporting characters and interesting subplots that shed light on Pirio’s character, North of Boston was a pleasure.”
Concord Monitor

“Family issues, a lost perfume formula and the need to protect our precious wildlife add nice depth to this richly envisioned murder mystery that shows a great deal of promise from this emerging author.”
Monsters and Critics

“North of Boston…had me turning pages late into the night.  I’ve never read anything quite like it before!  Elo took several different threads — survival story, murder mystery, the perfume industry, environmental ethics, marine life protection — and wove them into a larger tale that was engaging and exciting.”
–So Obsessed With

“Darkly atmospheric, grim, compelling debut thriller.”
–Genrefluent’s Book of the Week

“A sophisticated page turner that’s well worth reading and that seems ripe for a moody film adaptation a la Mystic River or Gone Baby Gone.”
–Miss Bibliophile

“The latest hard-boiled reluctant woman detective to appear in a mystery thriller is one of the best….North of Boston itself is an impressive debut.”

“Fantastic!  Exciting and unbelievably horrible scenes as the book moves toward its ending.  Like I said, you’ll be on the edge of your seat when Pirio runs off on her own and runs right into…one…big…bloody…mess!  Action adventure at its finest!  Enjoy!”
–Book Reader’s Haven

North of Boston…is a winner.  It is so much more than a mystery.  The characters are well fleshed out, the mystery and ominous ambiance are thrilling at times, the storyline is a strong one, the Arctic setting is fascinating, and the supporting cast of characters is interesting.  I highly recommend North of Boston and look forward to reading the author’s future work.”
–MostlyFiction Book Reviews

“Charismatic heroine…fascinating characters…an exciting read.”
–Marilyn’s Mystery Reads