Last year I read and enjoyed The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy Mejia so was delighted to have the chance to take part in the blog tour for her latest novel, Leave No Trace, which was published earlier this month. And as with her previous book this looked to have an intriguing premise so I was excited to read it.
Leave No Trace is narrated by therapist Maya Stark, and explores the complex relationship that develops between her and one of the patients incarcerated at the Congdon Psychiatric Institute where she works. The patient in question is nineteen year old Luca Blackthorn, a boy presumed to be dead having vanished without a trace ten years previously after he trekked into the remote wilderness of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters alongside his father, Josiah. It is clear that Luca has been seriously affected by his disappearance, and behaves in a violent fashion towards all he comes into contact with, and it appears to only be Maya who is able to get through to him. The circumstances of Lucas’ reappearance after a decade raises a lot of questions for the reader, particularly concerning where he has been all this time, and why he was gone without a trace for so long. And of course, what prompted Josiah and his son to take the path they did. And it becomes clear that both Lucas and Maya have questions they want answers to, and together they embark on a journey to find them…
The circumstances surrounding Lucas’ disappearance caught my interest early on and I was interested to see how the plot would develop and what secrets may be revealed on the way. And I was also interested to see how the relationship between Maya and Lucas developed, as they each set out in search of the truth, and subsequently become closer as they help each other. This of course makes for a potentially complex bond, which raises issues concerning the relationship between a therapist and a patient, both of whom have unfinished business at Boundary Waters. This was different from a lot of mystery, thriller type novels I have read, and kept my interest as it built up to its conclusion. I also enjoyed the use of the Boundary Waters setting, which made for an atmospheric and suspenseful read as it becomes apparent that a lot can be hidden within this remote and unusual environment. As the plot develops we see that Maya risks more than ever, as lines are crossed, and we get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the Blackthorns.
I found Leave No Trace to be an intriguing and atmospheric mystery story which made for an engaging read. It was published on 4th September 2018 by Quercus Books with thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
This review was written as part of the Leave No Trace blog tour, you can check out the other stops on the tour on the dates and blogs below: