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Finding Katarina M.

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  236 ratings  ·  85 reviews
"A heart-stopping saga."

"An amazing accomplishment."
--Elizabeth George

From the author of the acclaimed NORTH OF BOSTON comes a riveting new thriller about an American doctor who travels to Russia to meet her estranged grandmother, only to uncover dark family secrets and a dangerous international plot.

Natalie March is a successful doctor enjoying a busy life in
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Polis Books
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  236 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I got a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

I'm on some streak with these NetGalley titles!

I started reading this when there were people over and I didn't feel like being social (don't judge me I'm a book-person, not a people-person) and was hooked immediately.

The last couple titles I've read have had dual timelines, and when I saw that the first chapter was during Stalin's 'reign' and the next was contemporary that's what I thought I'd be dealing with. I do wish we had g
Shannon Kirk
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent. Shocking. Compelling. Vivid.

For me, Finding Katarina M “felt” like a mix of Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone (for the sheer shocking vividness of geography and setting you IN a foreign gorgeous scene) and a Ludlum Bourne no-brakes international spy chase. I could not put down this book. Truly. I skipped dinner last night because I just could not believe Elo placed the main character in the situations she did (a bit of a lovely shock every few chapters leaving me wholly surprised) a
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got up at 5 AM to finish reading FINDING KATARINA M. - it's such a page turner. It's a gripping thriller about a Washington DC surgeon whose search for her grandmother takes her to Russia. Scary believable. Really, brilliant. DO NOT READ ANY SYNOPSIS OF THIS - Just read it and be surprised. (I read an advance copy.) ...more
abdulia ortiz-perez
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
I received this ARC book from the author for honest review.

What a great thrill and suspense it was to read. What a great psychological thrill! This novel had everything in it. The thrill, the suspense, the psychological, romance and the twist is crazy. This novel will keep you thinking and guessing. When you think you right, well let me just say that you might be wrong. This had me all over the place. My heart beating so fast! I couldn't believe what I was reading. If had me in shock. Every page
Natalie is a successful surgeon in Washington D.C. and an only child. When a young Russian woman arrives at her clinic, she soon learns the grandmother she thought had died in a Soviet work camp lived. Saldana Tarasova is a Russian dancer, and she asks Natalie to help her defect but before she can even speak to an immigration lawyer, her cousin is murdered. Natalie believes her death isn't a burglary gone wrong, but everyone from the police to the CIA argue otherwise. After contacting Saldana's ...more
Robin Loves Reading
Natalie March is a busy doctor whose life is upset when a woman from Russia, who claims to be her cousin, tells her that their grandmother is alive. This is after Natalie believed for years that she was dead. Her grandmother, Katarina Melnikova, suffered greatly at the hands of Stalin during the labor camps and Natalie is delighted that she is indeed alive. When her cousin is killed, Natalie is ever more determined to meet her grandmother.

She never expected, however, to be faced with danger. As
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps you know a lot about your family. Maybe a genealogist great aunt has traced your family back to the Doomsday Book. My family, in contrast, barely escaped from the turmoils in Eastern Europe and I can only look back two generations. So I would not be surprised if a long-lost relative appeared on my doorstep. Which is exactly what happens to Dr. Natalie March, a child of Russian immigrant parents, who is suddenly visited at her office at the George Washington University Medical Center by a ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I received this from in exchange for a review.

Natalie goes to Russia searching for her grandmother but instead is caught up in a web of dangerous secrets that will pit her against Russian security forces and even elements within her own government.

Quick read, good story. I really liked this description, " the cold invaded my clothing efficiently: its dainty fingers crawled up my sleeves and curled softly, insistently, down my neck".

Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Interview with Elisabeth Elo on writing, and her novel Finding Katarina M. | More2Read

Saldana Tarasova appears in one Dr. Natalie March’s Washington, D.C. office, a Russian national, a cousin with a shared grandmother, Katarina Melnikova.
This grandmother was sent to the infamous Gulag prison with her husband in 1949 and was known to her as dead, but new discovery of her living and surviving sets Natalie on homeward bound to her mother’s native land for answers.
Initially she was in search of answ
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This is not just a book – it is an adventure!

When Natalie March, an American physician, travels to Russia to keep a promise for her mother Vera, she has no idea what is in store for her. Vera has always been haunted by the disappearance of her Ukrainian mother Katarina Melnikova who was sent to a gulag when Vera was only a baby. It had been assumed that Katarina died. Natalie has no idea that she will get pulled into a spider web of dangerous family secrets, murder, and deception, dodging Soviet
Doris Wiggins
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Natalie March is surprised into find the young Russian ballerina in her office. She is even more surprised to find out she is her cousin. Adding to that, is the fact that her grandmother, whom she thought had died in a prison camp is alive. She knows her mother, Vera will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the mother she presumed dead is alive and living in a remote village in Russia. A few days later the new cousin Natalie has just recently met is found dead in her apartment. A victim of mur ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
This book was received as an ARC from Polis Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I could not stop reading this book. It had it all non-stop action packed excitement with a enriched history that was so interesting and unexpected. While reading this book, it reminded me a lot of a Patterson series and how stories will take unexpected twists and turns just when the reader is starting to pick up on it. Who would have thought a w
Jill Hallenbeck
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an outstanding, fast-paced Russian espionage story that stretches from Washington DC to Siberia. There is intrigue because of a young ballerina telling her cousin that her grandmother, who is also our heroine's grandmother, was not killed in a gulag, but lives in a town not appearing on any map. Trying to get her grandmother in touch with her mother in the US, Dr. March travels to Russia to bridge this generational divide. Lots of action, good character development, and good descriptions ...more
Sue Em
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gem of a thriller! When a young woman claiming to be her cousin arrives unannounced at Natalie March's practice office, her ordered life as a workaholic surgeon in D. C. will never be the same. Her mother, invalided with MS, tasks Natalie to go meet Katarina, the mother she never knew. Traveling to Putin's Russia, Natalie encounters unexpected danger in what should be a family reunion. Elo describes the landscape and everyday experience you that you feel you are there yourself. Gulags, CIA agent ...more
Mary Ann
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway
First off, I was thrilled to be a winner of the giveaway for Elizabeth Elo's brilliant masterpiece published by Polis Books. I rated this book with a five-star rating because I could not put it down and read the book in three sittings. I became totally immersed in the intrigue, action-packed drama and thrilling depiction of Dr. Natalie Marsh's searching for her grandmother on her mother's behalf that took her travelling to Siberia; and her to endure unbelievable hardships for love of family and ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
FABULOUS! Hooked on this book from the first page. The descriptions are vivid, the characters come alive and are part of your life from the very beginning. Loved how the story unfolded. Did not want this book to end!
Anna Szabó
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finding Katarina M. is an amazingly written story. This was my first book by her but won’t be the last.

Dr. Natalie March is s renowned doctor. Her grandmother, Katarina Melinkova is beleived to be dead. She was sent to a gulag is Russia when she was young. Her daugher Vera - Natalie’s mother - defected to the United States. And then one day a woman comes to Natalie’s office claiming to be her cousin and asking for her help to defect the United States. Natalie says no but she want to help her an
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win an advance copy of this novel in a Goodreads give away. An amazing story told with great style. I highly recommend this book. Thank you, Elisabeth Elo for sharing! I predict your novel will have great success.
Jean Kolinofsky
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Katerina and her husband were sent to a Siberian gulag and their daughter Vera was raised by an uncle, who later brought her to America. Years later, Vera’s daughter Dr. Natalie Marsh is approached by a young Russian girl who claims to be her cousin. Amazingly, Katerina escaped from the gulag and eventually settled down with a second family. She is now in her 80s and lives in a small village with her other daughter. Vera is suffering from MS and a trip to Russia is out of the question but she as ...more
Doug Jacobs
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A young woman goes to Doctor Natalie March’s office and in heavily Russian-accented English indicates that they are cousins. She offers sufficient information to confirm to Natalie that she is genuinely who she claims to be. When Natalie explains to her ailing mother Vera that her grandmother Katarina is still alive, and did not die in a Soviet gulag, Vera insists that Natalie go to Russia to find the now ninety-four-year-old woman.

The novel continues with exotic locations, murder, terrorists, m
Feb 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
Finding Katarina M. was not what I expected it to be. The description of Russia and life there were fantastic. I think it's a good story, but I got bored with it. It's a good read for the right reader. Unfortunately it's not me. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and read it in less than a day. It grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let you go until the very end. I don't believe this could have happened because I don't believe spies are just picked up off the street. This is the second book by this author and I want to read the other one to see if it is as good.

This takes place in places like Washington, DC, Siberia and Russia. Natalie is a prominent doctor in Washington, DC and plans a trip to Russia to see her long lost cousin b
Holly Robinson
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm often guilty of picking up books simply because I'm intrigued by the setting, and FINDING KATARINA M. delivers an exotic setting in spades--Siberia! Land of reindeer herders and vodka shots! I was completely transported by author Elisabeth Elo's delicious descriptions. To add to the book's appeal, Elo (author of another of my favorite thrillers, NORTH OF BOSTON), gives us a strong, conflicted female protagonist who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty, a mystery involving a dead ballerina, an ...more
Kathleen Gray
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a terrific surprise this was! It's a very good read. Natalie, a physician in Washington, is very surprised when a young woman shows up claiming to be her cousin AND that her grandmother, long thought to have perished in a Soviet prison camp is alive. When that young woman is murdered, it sets Natalie down an unexpected path through Russia and into Siberia where she is hunting for her cousin Misha, who went missing while investigating bad acts by the government. There's a CIA element to this ...more
Susan Oleksiw
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
This book, both story and writing, held me from the first page. Dr. Natalie March, a successful surgeon in Washington, DC, is confronted with a Russian ballerina claiming to be her cousin. After believing all her life that her grandparents died in Stalin's gulag, March is understandably skeptical. But Saldana knows details, and March believes her. Persuaded by Saldana's aunt and her mother's longing to know what happened to her parents, she agrees to travel to Russia to meet her grandmother. She ...more
Never cliche.
New territory.
Skillfully written.

The Sakha. Siberia.
Rachel Emrick
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book kept me up late- it was very intense and addictive. I enjoyed the plot twists and the mystery. It was clearly well-researched, and seemed very believable.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Jo-jean Keller
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Transported into a totally alien environment, Natalie manages to survive numerous challenges and locate family members she never knew of.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Title: Finding Katarina M

Author: Elisabeth Elo

Length: 332 pages

Publisher: Polis Books LLC

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Historical

My rating: 4/5


Dr. Natalie March residing in Washington DC has a visitor Saldana who introduces herself as her maternal cousin. Natalie, who always thought her grandmother to be deceased in the Russian camp is astonished about the same. Her mother compels her to go in search of her grandmother which she does. Little does she know that her life is going to change upsi
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Polis Books and author Elizabeth Elo for providing an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel has an amazing sense of place, due undoubtedly to Elo’s obviously careful research and personal travels to Russia. Once protagonist Dr. Natalie March arrived in Russia, every chapter chilled me and I don’t mean just the description of the weather.

Westerners assume that everyone lives similar lives to what they experience and nothing could be more wrong. Elo does a
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Elisabeth Elo is the author of NORTH OF BOSTON, chosen by Booklist as a Best Crime Novel Debut of the Year. Published in six countries, it was also an Indie Next selection and a Book of the Month / Literary Guild Selection. Elisabeth’s second suspense novel, FINDING KATARINA M., is forthcoming in March 2019.

Elisabeth grew up in Boston, attended Brown University, and earned a PhD in American Liter

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