Good Character Driven Mystery

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Defying all odds, ten years after a father and son wandered into the hundreds of miles of woods and water, comprise northern Minnesota's aptly named Boundary Waters, the son emerges from the wild not only alive but changed, violent, and withdrawn.

Winding up in the mental hospital where former patient turned assistant language therapist Maya Stark works, when Maya first meets nineteen-year-old Lucas Blackthorn, he lashes out, nearly choking Maya to death in a horrific assault.

The only person with whom he's shared any meaningful interaction (good or bad), the unflappable Maya is sent to speak with Lucas again, only for the two to build a strong connection as Mindy Mejia's book continues and we realize that both are harboring some serious secrets.

The definition of a page-turner from the start, while initially Leave No Trace's intensely vivid sentences fly right by, as the book moves from thriller to psychological mystery, it loses a good deal of suspense.

Slowing things down in the middle of the work which could've used some tightening up, while it's fairly easy to see how the two characters are connected on the surface, as Maya risks everything to help Lucas and learn more, Mejia's book picks right back up, leading to an if not altogether surprising than at least satisfying conclusion.

A terrific character-driven storyteller, while Mejia takes awhile to return to the pace of Trace's opening chapters, readers looking for mysterious psychological tale set against the atmospheric (and metaphorical) backdrop of such a beautiful but dangerous stretch of land and sea should pick this one up.