by Jenny Milchman
Ballantine Books, January 2013
Hardcover, 336 pp.
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.I was captivated from the very beginning. Jenny has woven a tale that had me eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next.
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.
The unrelenting ferocity of winter in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York is as much a character as any of the others. The snow that covers the area is not only frozen precipitate, but symbolic of the resistance Nora meets from the native townsfolk and the years of secrets she must uncover if she is to have any answers regarding her husband's death.
Some of the hints that Nora uncovers are not explained well enough for thorough understanding of how they fit into the scheme of things. But a very small issue with a terrific, fast-paced thriller.
The entire time I was reading, I could totally see this book adapted for the big screen. Overall, I loved it, and can't wait to read Milchman's next book. She's a very talented writer, and I wish her much success.
From Fresno, CA to New York for my Where are you reading? challenge.
Talk to you soon,
Disclosure: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.