Recommended: Girl in Snow by Danya Kakufka

Girl in Snow drew me in with its premise and beautiful writing and did not disappoint.

Unlike some suspense novels, I felt myself caring about and searching for the answers to all of the mysterious plots, both main and sub.

And there were plenty of them.

The main mystery, as the title implies, is finding out who killed Lucinda Hayes, who was found in the snow of a small Colorado town’s school playground.

There are many people who could have done it, including a couple of narrators. But somewhere along the way, I almost stopped caring about whether or not one of them did it. Getting to know teenagers Cameron Whitley, who may or may not be a budding sociopath, and Jade, a girl who envied Lucinda but had worse problems than a romantic rivalry.

Then there is the cop, Russ, who is on the outskirts of the investigation, so we get a glimpse into that process. But, more than that, we get background on Whitley’s father, a disgraced former police officer in that same small town.

If I had one complaint about Girl in Snow, it’s this: There may have been a bit too much of a focus on writing, and perhaps not enough on keeping the plots moving.

Take Russ’ subplot concerning Whitley’s father. Without giving anything away, I can tell you the punch line was not relevant to much of the rest of the novel and could have been completed earlier, leading to a bit more investigation/procedure writing. There are other soft spots in the novel that, had I been the editor, would have been shortened or cut completely. But Kaufka is a young writer, and I expect her future works to get tighter and shine even more.

But those are finer points to discuss. Overall, I really enjoyed reading Girl in Snow and was pleased with both the beautiful writing and the overall plot.

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