Reviews for Cover of Snow
Booklist Reviews 2012 December #1
*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. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 November #1
Milchman's debut novel follows Nora Hamilton as she puzzles through the inexplicable and sudden suicide of her young husband, Brendan. Nora awakens one morning to find her bed cold and empty and her husband, a police officer in a small town not too far from New York City, missing. She climbs out of bed with a sense of foreboding and discovers that Brendan has inexplicably hanged himself in their home. An outsider in the small village of Wedeskyull, Nora finds herself the object of intense scrutiny by his fellow police officers and targeted by the piercing scorn that radiates from Brendan's mother, Eileen. Soon, Nora begins to unravel the mystery of what could have compelled her husband to choose to end his life without any warning. She unearths both a childhood filled with blame for an accident that took place many years before she came to town and a strange, autistic man-child named Dugger who offers Nora some cryptic clues into what might have driven Brendan to destroy himself and their marriage. Along the way, Nora picks up an ally or two in the form of a local newspaper reporter and her husband's aunt but finds herself leaning more and more on her sister, Teggie, for moral support until the truth finally comes out. Milchman makes the reader feel the chill right down to their bones and casts a particularly effective mood in this stylish thriller; but her storytelling falters when placed under the microscope of logic. The clues with which Nora pieces together the mystery of what's actually happening in Wedeskyull and why a happily married man like Brendan would kill himself are so obscure and easily overlooked that it's difficult to believe a grieving widow would zero in on them with such unerring precision. The ensuing investigation seems illogical and disjointed with the introduction of characters whose only apparent function is to take up literary space. Nice writing, but Nora's meandering investigation only makes a confusing plot even more so in a tale populated by irrelevant details and vague side journeys. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews 2012 December #1
After her husband, Brendan, commits suicide, Nora Hamilton questions why the seemingly happy policeman ended his life. Embarking on an aggressive search for answers, Nora learns just how unwelcoming and private the small Adirondack town of Wedeskyull, NY, is to outsiders. Nora treks through snow and ice on a dangerous mission for the truth, armed with her husband's box of mementos, a mysterious photograph, and cryptic clues from an autistic mechanic. When Nora's relentless quest unearths lies and corruption in her husband's hometown, she risks loss and danger. VERDICT Milchman's debut is a chillingly good mystery thriller that quickly picks up momentum and spirals into a whirling avalanche of secrets, danger, and suspense. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/12; Milchman is chair of the International Thriller Writers' Debut Authors program--Ed.]--Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights [Page 80]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #5
When house restorer Nora Hamilton finds that her policeman husband, Brendan, has hanged himself, her image of their idyllic life in Brendan's Adirondacks hometown of Wedeskyull, N.Y., is shattered in Milchman's evocative debut. Yet Nora is not content to accept her husband's death as a suicide. As she tries to make sense of the tragedy and investigate, Brendan's mother and his police co-workers stonewall her. Refusing to simply move on, Nora discovers more and more things about Brendan that don't add up. Why did he get a prescription for sedatives a week before committing suicide? What does the death of his brother exactly 25 years before have to do with anything? The townsfolk's reticence to answer these questions only further compels her to uncover the truth about Brendan's past. Milchman expertly conveys Nora's grief in a way that will warm hearts even in the dead of a Wedeskyull winter. Agent, Julia Kenny, Markson Thoma Literary. (Jan.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC