Mini Reviews: Girl in Snow (Danya Kukafka) and Beneath Copper Falls(Colleen Coble)

Girl in SnowGirl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb 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. Compulsively readable and powerfully moving, Girl in Snow offers an unforgettable reading experience and introduces a singular new talent in Danya Kukafka


I was invited by the publisher to read this book. I liked the premise and I do like a good murder mystery so I was excited about reading the book. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

This book is character-driven and the pace is really slow because the entire focus is on the narrators. The story is told through three main POVs; Cameron, Jade and Russ, complex characters,  all battling their own demons. At the heart of the story, there is a murder case. Through the characters, we finally get to learn how Lucinda Hayes lost her life.

Although this is a murder mystery, I didn’t feel the suspense and tension that usually comes with the genre. I couldn’t connect with Lucinda, maybe because the story begins when she is already dead. In addition, the focus on the characters dragged the story. The writing was beautiful and the setting (small town) interesting but the story wasn’t for me. Fans of character-driven stories who don’t mind a slow paces are more likely to enjoy this one.


Beneath Copper FallsBeneath the Copper Falls by Colleen Coble

Dana Newell has just moved to Rock Harbor to take a job as a sheriff’s dispatcher and is settling in next door to Bree and Kade Matthews. The abusive relationship she left behind seems a distant memory in this perfect place.

Her first day on the job, Dana receives a call from her friend Allyson who screams “He’s going to kill me too” before the phone goes dead. Dana immediately dispatches a deputy, but it’s too late. Allyson’s death is ruled an accident, but Dana just doesn’t believe it. She knows Allyson—an investigative reporter—was researching a new story. Did someone want to keep her quiet?

Dana continues to look into the accident with the help of Bree and also Allyson’s cousin Boone. Romance quickly blooms between Dana and Boone but the game is much more complex than either of them imagined. When Dana’s ex-fiance locates her, she’s caught in the middle. It’s a game of cat and mouse


Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Cable tells the story of Dana Newell who works as a dispatcher. Right from the start, readers get to know that Dana is leaving an abusive relationship. She goes back to Rock Harbor, the small town where she grew up. Dana expects the town to offer refuge but instead,  finds out that there is a serial killer on the prowl.

The characters in this story were well developed. I was drawn to Dana and Boone. The two were complex, flawed characters with complicated pasts. However, they are the kind of characters who are  easy to root for. At first, I thought this would end up being a cheesy, romantic story. However, I was surprised to see the inclusion of the serial killer angle. It heightened the tension in the book. In addition, Dana’s ‘crazy’ husband also added to the apprehension that I felt as the story progressed.

Having read way too many murder mysteries, this was pretty predictable for me. I was able to guess the killer early in the book. However, it was still a thrill to read about how the characters made the discovery. I guess that is what kept me reading. I wanted to see how the reveal would be done and how different characters would find out.

I have always loved small town settings and Rock Harbor was memorable. The characters were great but I do wish that the story was less predictable. This may be an issue on my part though and readers who don’t read too many mysteries may enjoy this one more than I did. If you like romantic suspense then this book is  for you.