Thursday, April 03, 2014

Barry's Reviews: "Cover Of Snow" by Jenny Milchman

It has been quite some time since Barry contributed a review that was not specifically FFB related. Please welcome back Barry to the blog today as he reviews a favorite of mine. Jenny’s new book RUIN FALLS: A Novel is scheduled to be released April 22nd. Jenny is also about to launch yet another book tour and currently plans to be in the Dallas area on August 9th. More details as they become available. If you have not read Cover Of Snow---you really should.


COVER OF SNOW (2013) by Jenny Milchman

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

After a peaceful night's sleep, Nora Hamilton awakens on a bitterly cold and snowy January morning in the Adirondacks to a nightmare. Her husband Brendan, a police officer in the small upstate New York town of Wedeskyull, has committed suicide. Her grief is as incessant as her determination to find out why. He'd given no indication that he was depressed about anything, so what drove him to this desperate act?

Nora's pursuit of the truth pits her against certain townspeople she thought were her friends; introduces her to strangers who become unlikely allies (readers won't soon forget Dugger); exposes her subtle conflicts with family members and a not-so-subtle one with her mother-in-law; puts her and others in mortal danger and, literally and symbolically, pits her against the treacherous snow that blankets the region, both concealing and revealing frigid current and decades-old brutal realities and concomitant attitudes.

The trepidations and mysteries in this suspenseful gem will have readers turning pages late into the night to find out what happens next, not least because many a chapter closes with a cliffhanger. Jenny Milchman has crafted an excellent debut novel studded with turns of phrase that add vividity without distracting from the headlong narrative thrust.

The novel is not without what some readers will perceive as flaws. There are unanswered questions about key events, some loose ends are left dangling, and the fates of some of the characters, major and minor, go unexplained. These didn't bother me personally; not every issue in life has a definitive resolution, and not every question gets answered. I can highly recommend Cover of Snow to fans of high-tension suspense fiction, and in fact recommended it to a number of friends even before I'd finished reading it. I'm looking forward to Jenny Milchman's next novel.

Barry Ergang © 2014

Some of Derringer Award-winner Barry Ergang's work can be found at Amazon and at Smashwords. His website is


Jenny Milchman said...

Barry, thank you so much for adding my first novel to your pantheon of reviews, and Kevin, as always, for the Corner being the book sanctuary that it is.

Barry, I liked what you said about not every question having an answer. I'm not sure that's what I was intending (Wedeskyull is the setting for future novels, so some things may play out, I hope, for years to come), but I think you raise an interesting debate. How much *should* be resolved in crime fiction? Is there such a thing as too much closure?

Thank you again for paying such close mind to my work. It's an honor.

Shannon said...

I, too, loved Cover of Snow, so I did a happy dance when I got a chance to read Ruin Falls through NetGalley. Make sure you check that one out as well. As the wife of a police officer, I really could relate to Nora's life, but Ruin Falls had me flippin' pages so fast I thought I'd sprain something! Love your work, Jenny!