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Cover of Snow: A Novel Hardcover – January 15, 2013
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Stranger in the House" by Shari Lapena
In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A thriller packed full of secrets and a twisty story that never stops - from the bestselling author of "The Couple Next Door." See more
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*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
“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
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Top customer reviews
As Nora struggles to understand Brendan’s unfathomable act, the author masterfully pulls us into her treacherous world: the forbidding and frozen Adirondack Mountains, where unrelenting cold and snow hides and distorts everything, including the truth. In this powerful page-turner, no two characters have the same reason for wanting to keep answers buried. Whether it’s Brendan’s menacing police buddies, his frosty mother with family secrets hidden in her basement, a woman searching for her grandson, or an autistic auto mechanic, the people orbiting Nora are characters we haven’t met before—there’s not a cookie cutter “been there/read that” among them.
And the inhuman force amplifying the sense of dread—intractable Mother Nature at her most furious—is drawn with such chilling detail I wanted to put on boots, gloves and a hat as I moved deeper into the story to the final, unexpected reveal. I’d rather take my chance with the Zika virus than face the cold and dark landscape, and the icy people burying secrets and bodies, in Cover of Snow. A great read!
The first few hours following Nora's devastating discovery pass for her in a blur of numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them.
Unraveling her late husband's final days, Nora searches for an explanation--but finds a bewildering resistance from Brendan's best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown . . . and its darkest secrets hidden.
I always love when I find a new author whose book I love and I found another author to love in Jenny Milchman and her debut novel Cover of Snow. When I started reading it, I didn't want to stop and that is always an indicator of a great book. There wasn't a second in this book where I skimmed or was bored. I soaked in every detail and couldn't get enough!
Not only did the author create fascinating characters and throw in just the right amounts of twists and turns but she created this atmosphere in the book that matched the crimes taking place....which was cold. The crimes were calculating, shocking, and cold and Milchman wrote her story in the cold setting of the Adirondack Mountains of New York where it was always snowing. I could feel the cold in my bones as I read and that cold matched the criminal element in the book. It was absolutely brilliant!
I loved the main character Nora. She was like a dog with a bone when it came to her determination in figuring out why her husband committed suicide. Not sure who to turn to for help or who to trust, and getting veiled threats from her husband's former co-workers, she is still determined to get answers. If you like strong female protagonists then this is a book for you.
There are also a lot of characters in the story, Eileen her mother in law, Eileen's sister Jean, Ned a reporter researching a story, the officers and police chief and an autistic man. All these characters play an important part to the story and surprisingly are not that hard to keep track of unlike other books filled with minor characters that really have no part in the story. Each character in this book had his or her purpose and this book was filled with enough scary situations and creepy people to keep the reader on the edge of the seat.
If this is a debut book then I expect great things to come from Milchman. She has already created one heck of a book and I will definitely be keeping my eyes out for more to come from this author. 5 stars!