Leave No Trace

Emily Bestler Books | September 4, 2018

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There’s a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent, uncommunicative, and sent to a psychiatric facility where he meets Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist. Maya is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient, yet no matter how she tries, he refuses to answer any questions about his father or the last ten years of his life

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.


“Mejia’s thrilling tale works both as an engaging mystery and a haunting meditation on grief, abandonment, and the lost places within ourselves. Brutal, devastating, and utterly riveting.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“The author uses Lake Superior’s violent storms and the Boundary Waters’ forbidding wilderness to intensify the story’s emotional impact and heighten its exploration into the unpredictability of half-buried secrets.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Atmospheric . . . arresting.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Mejia’s writing crosses back and forth between exquisite literary descriptions and thrilleresque escapes and acts of violence.” (New York Journal of Books)

“A boy missing for ten years emerges from the Minnesota wilderness in Mindy Mejia’s spellbinding page-turner, LEAVE NO TRACE. Dark and atmospheric, with palpably vivid details and complex characters harboring plenty of secrets, Leave No Trace is the perfect combination of gorgeous prose and edge-of-your-seat storytelling. Clear your calendar, this is a book you’ll want to swallow in one sitting. A stunner!” (Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of THE MARRIAGE LIE)

“A tense and gripping read that plumbs the depths of grief and longing, LEAVE NO TRACE is as thrilling as a whitewater rapid and as dark as the Minnesotan wilderness itself. Mejia has a gift for creating characters who feel like family, and by the end of this book I would have followed her gutsy speech-therapist heroine Maya to the ends of the earth. Through twist after twist, this riveting story will have you asking yourself just how far you would go to find out exactly where you came from.” (Amy Gentry, internationally bestselling author of GOOD AS GONE)

“I fell in love with Mindy Mejia’s EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, and with LEAVE NO TRACE she solidifies her position as one of my go-to authors. Smart, sophisticated and with characters so real, I kept expecting Maya and Lucas to stroll out of the forest. This novel deserves the top-spot on your reading list!” (Hannah Mary McKinnon, author of THE NEIGHBORS)

“Set against the backdrop of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, Mindy Mejia continues to create characters that are both vulnerable and strong as they navigate the wild terrain through seemingly impossible relationships. LEAVE NO TRACE is a thrill ride of a novel that captures the ferocity of both nature and humankind. The story of Maya and Lucas is one I won’t soon forget.” (Karen Katchur, author of RIVER BODIES)

“Mindy Mejia’s LEAVE NO TRACE leaves the reader breathless: Daring characters, a suspenseful story you will tear through, and the ticking clock of an approaching dark, cold Minnesota winter. Riveting.” (Lori Rader-Day, award-winning author of THE BLACK HOUR)

“Riveting and beautifully rendered, LEAVE NO TRACE hooks you from the first page and never lets go. A must-read thriller.” (Laura McHugh, award-winning and internationally bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD and ARROWOOD)