Incredible story with an twisted, suspenseful plot and two very deep main characters. Ms Meija cast her line and I took the bait hook, line and sinker. When Lucas Blackthorne resurfaces after years gone missing with his father, both thought dead in the wilds of the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, he's brought to the mental health facility where Maya works as a Speech Pathologist. She works under rate direction of the lead Psychiatrist there, a woman who knows Maya well, since Maya herself spent some time there some years ago. Maya's history is as Lucas's at times. Maya is sent to work with Lucas, since he hasn't spoken since his admission and the Dr is trying to determine if he even speaks. Lucas is on a locked ward and in a locked room. Maya is well on her guard but it's at their first meeting where he tries to choke her to death and almost succeeds. These two connect in some unexpected way, and will continue to connect throughout this carefully unravelled story. Maya establishes a rapport with Lucas and also becomes a friend to him. She understands in some deep way where he's at. Meanwhile at home, her father who she still lodges with when he's not out trolling the waters of Lake Superior, happens to be at home and notices her injuries, he beefs- she shuts him down. Her mother left years ago. A geologist, she taught Maya all about the Basalt and the Boundary waters. The agate that forms within the Basalt. Lucas gradually learns to cooperate after Maya tells him how things go there, that privileges are earned and his goal of course, is to get outside. He's been living in the wilds since he and his father disappeared. After several attempts to escape, he's once again back in the locked ward and Maya is pulled off his case. Maya had once promised to help Lucas and after a series of events it becomes apparent to her that she can and she does. Again we start down another twisted road of backstory and events that couldn't be seen coming. So carefully crafted and well told, these what these two people did for each other whatever the circumstance was perfectly written. I am purposely avoiding details and telling too much of the storyline. This is one book I think the reader should just step into and come up for air as needed. Epilogues were well done and a nice bonus. Stellar read, perfectly written right down to the last detail. She never missed a beat. Well done!! 4.5 stars arc from NetGalley and publisher with many thanks for my honest review.
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(*I won a copy through Bookish First. That fact in no way affects my review.*) Leave No Trace is now on my list of absolute favorites. It's about two wayward souls who cross paths at a time when both their lives are in turmoil, & through that chaos they quickly form a bond, but they both have secrets that will either solidify that bond or tear them apart. Mindy weaves a beautiful tapestry about family, mental illness, depression, regrets, forging your own path, & finding home. It's about the pressure of meeting the expectations of others. Mostly, it's about the peace that comes when you find what feeds your very soul. As usual, there's a mystery to be solved, but it's not the heart of this well layered tale. I found that extremely refreshing. This book was a very easy & entertaining read for me. Her writing just flows so effortlessly. I appreciate the time & detail she put into fleshing out these characters, their motivations, & their environment. I found myself really invested in these people & the outcome of the story. I even learned a fair amount about the Boundary Waters. Mindy Mejia knows how to capture it's beauty on paper, for sure! She is one of my favorite authors. With writing like this, she always will be! I can't wait to see what she writes next, & I highly recommend this book. (*Thank you Bookish First, Emily Bestler Books /Atria Books, & Mindy Mejia for this gifted copy.*)
Leave No Trace is an interesting enough story and maybe my definition of a thriller is different than the author's, but I didn't find one here. There is suspense and quite a lot of dangling carrots throughout that hint at answers, but the pacing is very slow and those answers take their sweet time coming. I realize this is fiction and certain allowances can be made, but this one requires more suspension of disbelief than what I would consider reasonable. To make matters worse, I didn't find Maya particularly interesting. She's rather bland as far as a protagonist goes, other than the sheer number of times she manages to be hurt by Lucas in his many attempts to escape. And that's just one thing that stretched the imagination. I can't imagine a speech therapist being left alone with a dangerous or violent patient even once, let alone repeatedly. The only saving grace in this one for me was Josiah. His chapters are very well done and are quite compelling, but about halfway through, I realized I was just plunging through hoping for another of his chapters. The author does have talent, but this one missed the mark for me.
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