Title: Cover of Snow
Author: Jenny Milchman
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Rating: 4 out of 5
Nora and her husband Brendan are very much in love. When he commits suicide, she’s shocked and horrified. What would drive her beloved husband to such a horrible end? Nora begins digging into her husband’s life; he was a police officer in his small hometown in the Adirondack Mountains. But Nora begins to discover surprising things about her husband, things she should have known, and it makes her question whether she ever really knew the man she married.
Cover of Snow is a suspenseful novel featuring a strong, independent main character. Nora goes through the stages of grief, as one would suspect. For some time, she’s so numb and in shock that she can barely function. But as sensation returns and she begins to feel, she begins to question her husband’s death. He didn’t leave a note, and there was no indication that he was even slightly depressed. He had a good job and a wife who loved him. Why, then, would Brendan commit suicide? Nora knows that she must find out the answer to this difficult, seemingly unanswerable question before she can move on with her life.
Nora’s a capable sleuth, someone who is good at making connections and deductions in Cover of Snow. As the novel progresses, Nora (along with the reader) begins to realize that no one around her can be trusted. Milchman takes the reader on crazy twists and turns, transforming the novel from one of grief to a thrill ride. It’s a well-executed transformation and will certainly keep the reader hooked from beginning to end.
The setting of Cover of Snow is just as much a character in the novel as Nora or Brendan. It takes place in upstate New York, in a small village in the mountains in winter. The snow is an oppressive and harsh blanket that numbs the senses. It makes it too easy to trust, slowing down instinctive reflexes. In some ways, this book simply could not have taken place in a warm climate because the location is so integral to the storyline and atmosphere.
If you’re looking for a creepy novel that will leave you slightly unsettled as you navigate its complex plot, Cover of Snow is a great choice. It’s interesting and well-written with a stellar setting and atmosphere. While readers may be able to guess the end result, this is a novel where you’ll enjoy just being along for the ride. It’s a promising debut, and I look forward to seeing what Jenny Milchman does next.