“A perfectly paced and tautly plotted thriller…and an incredibly accomplished debut” (Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water), about a beloved high schooler found murdered in her sleepy Colorado suburb and the secret lives of three people connected to her.
How can you love someone who’s done something horribly, horribly wrong? When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her community is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.
In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory. “A sensational debut—great characters, mysteries within mysteries, and page-turning pace. Highly recommended” (Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher novels). Hailed as “Gillian Flynn of 2017” (Yahoo! Style), compulsively readable and powerfully moving, Girl in Snow is “engagingly told… its endearing characters’ struggles linger in memory after this affecting work is done” (The Wall Street Journal).
Kukafka's debut is set in 2005, unspooling in the days after 15-year-old Lucinda Hayes is found murdered at a playground in her Colorado suburb. Suspicion immediately falls on Cameron Whitley, an artsy loner who spends his nights wandering the neighborhood, watching Lucinda and her family from their front yard. But there are other suspects, too, like Ivan, the ex-con school janitor, and Zap, Lucinda's ex-boyfriend. Consisting of alternating chapters following Cameron; officer Russ Fletcher, who was once work partners with Cameron's estranged policeman father; and Jade Dixon-Burns, a gloomy teen dabbling in the occult and aspiring to be a writer, the novel digs into each character's history while offering up a fair number of red herrings regarding the identity of the murderer. These histories occasionally distract from the mystery of Lucinda's killer, yet Kukafka's clever narrative tricks, like Jade's tendency to imagine conversations in the form of screenplays and Cameron's inability to remember large swaths of time around the murder, propel the narrative forward. And while the novel employs a full checklist of teen tropes throughout, from abusive parents to fractured love triangles, there is enough narrative muscle to compel the reader to stick with it until the end.