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Cover of Snow: A Novel Hardcover – January 15, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (January 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345534212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345534217
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This superlative dark, wintry debut is set in a small town in upstate New York. Nora Hamilton oversleeps one morning to find that her husband, Brendan, has hung himself. Nora is bereft, and she struggles to reconcile Brendan’s suicide with their seemingly happy life together and with his job as a cop in his hometown. Her mother-in-law, a cold, forbidding woman, blames Nora, who tries talking to his partner, a cop who was also Brendan’s best friend, but he advises her to move on with her life. Nora can’t move on, not without some answers, and as she starts digging, she uncovers secrets about her husband and the town, the kind of secrets that people will do anything, including murder, to cover up. The ravages of winter impede her progress, but she plows on, determined to learn why Brendan never confided in her, but the answers prove more shocking than anything she might have imagined. These well-defined characters take us on an emotional roller-coaster ride through the darkest night, with blinding twists and occasionally fatal turns. This is a richly woven story that not only looks at the devastating effects of suicide but also examines life in a small town and explores the complexity of marriage. Fans of Nancy Pickard, Margaret Maron, and C. J. Box will be delighted to find this new author. --Stacy Alesi

Review

“Well-defined characters take us on an emotional roller-coaster ride through the darkest night, with blinding twists and occasionally fatal turns. This is a richly woven story that not only looks at the devastating effects of suicide but also examines life in a small town and explores the complexity of marriage. Fans of Nancy Pickard, Margaret Maron, and C. J. Box will be delighted to find this new author.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“Milchman reveals an intimate knowledge of the psychology of grief, along with a painterly gift for converting frozen feelings into scenes of a forbidding winter landscape.”The New York Times
 
“Milchman makes [readers] feel the chill right down to their bones and casts a particularly effective mood in this stylish thriller.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Milchman tackles small-town angst where evil can simmer under the surface with a breathless energy and a feel for realistic characters.”The Seattle Times
 
“The plot unfolds at an excellent clip . . . ultimately rushing headlong to a series of startling revelations.”—San Francisco Journal of Books
 
“Milchman expertly conveys Nora’s grief in a way that will warm hearts even in the dead of a Wedeskyull winter.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Everything a great suspense novel should be—tense, emotional, mysterious, and satisfying . . . Let’s hope this is the start of a long career.”—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Wanted Man

Cover of Snow is a darkly atmospheric first novel that challenges all sorts of romantic notions we might harbor about small towns and the people we think we can trust. Luckily, heroine Nora Hamilton—and writer Jenny Milchman—have the skill and fortitude to lead readers through a suspenseful story of switchbacks and surprises. A mystery that will draw in fans of darker fare as well, Cover of Snow is reminiscent of Margaret Maron’s work, which is about the highest praise I can bestow.”—Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of And When She Was Good

“A terrific debut.”—Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Seconds Away

More About the Author

Jenny Milchman is a suspense writer from the Hudson River Valley of New York State. Her debut novel, COVER OF SNOW, was published by Ballantine/Random House in January 2013 and her follow up novel, RUIN FALLS, will be published in April 2014. Her short story 'The Closet' was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in 2012, and another short story, 'The Very Old Man', will be published in EQMM this year. The short work 'Black Sun on Tupper Lake' appears in the anthology ADIRONDACK MYSTERIES II.

Jenny is the Chair of International Thriller Writers' Debut Authors Program. She is also the founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, which was celebrated in all 50 states and four foreign countries by over 700 bookstores in 2013. Jenny hosts the Made It Moments forum on her blog, which has featured more than 250 international bestsellers, Edgar winners, and independent authors. Jenny co-hosts the literary series Writing Matters, which attracts guests coast-to-coast and has received national media attention. She also teaches writing and publishing for New York Writers Workshop and Arts By The People.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Utah Mom VINE VOICE on January 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been in the mood lately for thrilling mysteries and Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman arrived just in time to fulfill this desire.

Nora wakes up groggy on morning after a night of passionate love making to find that her husband, a cop in the small New York town, has hanged himself in the attic. Nora is completely shocked by his suicide and wants to find out what would drive her husband to kill himself. But asking questions in his hometown is proving to be more dangerous than she suspected.

Sinister and creepy, Cover of Snow is populated by interesting characters who all seem to be keeping secrets. Nora has never felt completely accepted by her husband's friends and family but now she realizes she is more of an outcast than she thought. Well paced with just enough clues to keep the reader constantly guessing and enough eerie events to keep the reader freaked out, I could not put the book down until I had experienced the dramatic and revealing ending. Without giving anything away, I must admit that I felt several of the characters were flat and the ending doesn't completely satisfy.

Since the characters are experiencing the cold and snow of an upstate New York winter, Cover of Snow was a great book to cuddle up with while sheltering from the freezing temperatures.
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47 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Nora Hamilton is a restorer of old houses, in the midst of just starting a new business called Phoenix. Her husband, Brendan, is on the local police department. They have a happy marriage, one that is close and intimate. One morning, after making love the night before, she wakes up feeling drugged and feels like things are not right in the house. For one thing, she overslept and she knows her husband would have wakened her because she had an appointment with a new client. She walks through the house and she finds her husband - he had hanged himself and was dead.

Nora can't believe the things she is finding out. For one, Brendan got a prescription for a sedative a week before his suicide meaning he planned this out and sedated her the night before. She does not believe this is a suicide and so she is determined to find out what happened to him. If it is a suicide she wants to know why. Why would Brendan want to take his life?

Nora is stonewalled at every turn. There are secrets in her small town, ones that she is not supposed to find out. She is determined, however, to prove that her husband did not kill himself. Why, for instance, would he use twenty year-old rope when, as a police officer, he knew all about weapons.

The book is fairly formulaic and simply written. It is a good beach or plane read and I read it in two sittings. It is, as the publisher states, for readers who like Nancy Pickard and Lisa Unger. I am not a particular fan of either of them. The book is eerie and atmospheric at times, but it just didn't do it for me.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By book lover on February 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is a mixed back and a big disappointment. Too bad because the story had a great premise and the author has potential. This is a first book and suffers from many problems of first books so I suspect her further books may be better. What kept it from succeeding? There are too many scenes from too many points of view and too many characters none of which is realized. Too many story lines that fight with each other. Sometimes the story is a heartfelt woman's story, other times it's amateurish suspense (loud noises, doors banging shut etc), sometimes it's brusque mean cops. None of the characters has depth or believability, including the main character Nora whose husband kills himself and she wants to know why. She is actually pretty dumb in many instances and can't see what's obvious to the reader. She behaves in ways that don't make sense and are never explained. There are several holes that are never explained. I fail to understand the reviews praising this book. In the end, I just didn't care about the characters or what happened to them. I didn't even care how it ended I just wanted it done.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lily - Lily Pond Reads Blog on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I got this book for free through Goodreads First Reads

So...

I don't really know what to say. I liked it and disliked it at the same time. It seems that opinions on this book swings either one way or another, but I am going to put my foot down on middle ground.

The book starts with Nora waking up and looking for her husband only to find that he has committed suicide. The beginning, I have to admit was very gripping and emotional, it managed to hold my attention for several chapters then it slowed down and become downright confusing.

I don't know if I was really attached to Nora. I felt bad for her, with her husband dying she had no one else in that town apparently. Though they lived there a while, she failed to make friends and her mother-in-law hates her guts. I still fail to see why...

The novel really had me running in circles, and if it wasn't for the ending, I wouldn't have been able to tie any of the connections together. The character was everywhere and nowhere at once. She stumbled upon clues and realized that she didn't even really know her husband... but she married him. Things just started falling out of the sky in the end, almost feels like it was time to reveal the deep secret of the book - which was shocking to say the least - but everything before that had my head spinning in circles. I failed to see the connections, and half the time it didn't feel like there was any.

So the ending, because it was so darn emotional and shocking, was a saving grace. When people's secrets started pouring out it became much more thrilling and dramatic. The other part of the ending, and I won't ruin which one - I could have went without. The news that Nora got in the very end after solving this big mystery had me going...
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