Title: Girl in Snow
Author: Danya Kukafka
Genre: Literary Suspense
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: eARC via NetGalley
Length: 368 pages
Available: 1 August 2017
Who are you when no one is watching?
Cameron Whitley knows. At least he knew Lucinda, his 15-year-old classmate who’s been recently murdered. Love and obsession are one in the same for Cameron. His obsession grows through his nightly vigils, standing outside of Lucinda’s house, watching her through her bedroom window.
“Cameron thought of her shoulder blades and how they framed her naked spine, like a pair of static lungs.”
— Location 43
Jade, Cameron’s too smart and too self-aware classmate and neighbor, knows what Cameron’s been up to. She sees him outside every night and watches him watching Lucinda. But she’s not about to say anything, even after Lucinda’s murder. Coming from the perfect picture of a broken family, Jade hates everything Lucinda is and everything she has: the perfect body, perfect family, and popularity in school. Even the boy Jade loves is in love with Lucinda. When her former friend turns up dead, Jade wonders if her voodoo ritual to get Lucinda to disappear worked after all.
“There are only different ways people try to be good. Very few people in the world do things with even as the intention.”
— Location 1541
Russ is a cop who is working the murder and brings the ultimate small town feeling to the story. While managing marital problems and his own suspicions about who Lucinda’s killer is, Russ is also haunted by the ghost of his former partner: Cameron’s father. It begs the question of whether Cameron’s followed in his father’s violent footsteps.
As the three narrators circle around each other, getting closer to each other, the mystery of Lucinda’s murder burns slowly in the background. Built up with poetic prose, Kukafka examines the lives of Cameron, Jade, and Russ, showing the reader not their differences, but their similarities. Though their situations differ, Cameron, Jade, and Russ are connected through their broken hearts and their inability to understand their place in this new, Lucinda-less world.
Less thriller than literary fiction, Girl in Snow is a winter afternoon snowstorm: quiet, slow-moving, and beautiful.