Book Title: Leave No Trace
Author: Mindy Mejia
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Crime Fiction
Pub Date: 9/4/18
There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.
Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life
But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.
“Belief is a powerful thing. It grabs you, unmakes you, changes the tilt and angle of everything around you into an entirely different geometry. You see the world in a new shape and no matter how horrible the belief, no matter what awful things it makes you do, a part of you is still grateful for the structure.”
I’m 2 for 2 out of the Mindy Mejia books I’ve read so far, and I love it. Her novels are lightning quick and tend to hover just above the line between thought provoking and taboo. She’s unafraid to cross lines that make readers uncomfortable, and yet she does it with impeccable care and the sensitivity needed to keep readers from becoming turned off. It’s the old scenario where the characters personal lives are an utter train wreck that we can’t help rubbernecking alongside for 300+ pages. The cover does a superb job of setting the tone and vibe of Leave No Trace, and as you pick it up to begin you can’t help but be transported to rural Minnesota in preparation of the wicked journey to come.
Seasoned psych thriller/domestic drama readers may be able to solve some of the pieces to this puzzle ahead of their reveals, but I found that to only be one portion of what panned out to be an engaging read. I’m not entirely sure whether to put this into the category of plot or character driven; there is a copious amount of character development, as these portions are the foundation building up to the climax of the story, but there were also some tense, action packed scenes as well, a la Mission Impossible style. Dun dun dun nah, dun dun dun na, wheeep a whoooooo wheep a whooooo, wheep a wooooo, BAM!
While you will have to suspend your need for a realistic plot with this one, it was so much fun that I couldn’t make myself care about silly facts and all that. I will say that I’m wholly impressed with the amount of research that went into the very real stories (and inspiration for the Blackthorns story) of the Lykovs and the Ho Vans. Mejia did such a fantastic job with these that it has lit a fire in me to search out more information on these brave and solitary families. 100 points to Mejia’s Hogwart’s house for including intriguing history in her fiction!
If you enjoyed Mindy’s previous novel Everything You Want Me To Be, then I highly recommend you check out Leave No Trace as well. If you’re new to her books, this one is a great place to start, and you can just work your way backwards because trust me, you’ll want to read everything she writes. You may now return to your regularly scheduled afternoon while I sit over here in a corner waiting for MM next novel. ❤
*I received a copy for review via the publisher.