Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Review: Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman

Title: Cover of Snow
Author: Jenny Milchman
Published: December 2013, Ballantine Books
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Source: Personal copy

Jenny Milchman’s Cover of Snow is a remarkable debut, a gripping tale of suspense in the tradition of Gillian Flynn, Chris Bohjalian, and Nancy Pickard. 

Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide.

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.

My thoughts:  I have been a fan of Jenny Milchman's books since reading her second book, Ruin Falls. Since then, I have read all her books, but somehow never got around to reading her debut novel even though I've had it sitting on my shelf for some time now - and it's even signed by her from one of the many times I have seen her.

Jenny Milchman has such a way of using the environment in her stories - her sense of place definitely comes into play a lot in her books and it is always well done. She manages to create such sinister, creepy stories that are just dripping with tension and suspense. And this one is no exception. 

I loved how this story was told - mainly from Nora's point of view with occasional chapters told from other characters points of view. At first it takes some getting used to when it all the sudden jumps to another character's perspective, but it doesn't happen often and it does provide some telling details about the other characters that we otherwise wouldn't know. 

This book is filled with twists and turns and they begin right away, starting with Nora's husband's death. From there you are just pulled in and with so many compelling characters that you aren't quite sure about, it makes for such a great read. I wasn't sure who was trust-worthy, who was truly on Nora's side to get to the bottom of things, and the deeper she seemed to get into the investigation, the more someone wanted to shut her down! It certainly keeps you flipping those pages at a frantic pace, for sure.

Jenny Milchman is definitely a must-read author for me. I know when I pick up one of her books, I am going to get a great thriller that will keep me on the edge of my seat. I've now read all her books and will be anxiously awaiting her next book. Do you have an author (or a few) that you stalk until their latest release comes out? Because that is what I will be doing here with Jenny Milchman!


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