Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman

Cover of SnowCover of Snow by Jenny Milchman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I stumbled on Cover of Snow quite by accident at my public library, and happily, I found this chilly, atmospheric, thriller to be quite an enjoyable read.
Cover of Snow is Jenny Milchman’s debut novel, and in her acknowledgements, she thanks (for variously, inspiration, or help) such authors as Nancy Pickard and John Searles. While Cover of Snow is definitely its own book, I can see it appealing to fans of these authors, or of authors such as Jennifer McMahon and Louise Penny. However, the description of Cover of Snow likens Milchman to author Gillian Flynn, which in my opinion, is an unfortunate comparison. Cover of Snow contains none of the twisted manipulations that are such a feature of Flynn’s novels. Instead, its heroine, Nora, is a compassionate, grieving widow, who doggedly investigates her (seemingly happy) husband’s unlikely suicide. Her investigations lead her to discover long kept secrets in the small town of Wedeskyll, and put her in danger from those who don’t want those secrets to ever see the light of day.
For me, Cover of Snow’s most striking feature was the amazing sense of atmosphere which Jenny Milchman is able to create. In every page, she evokes the deadly beauty of the snowy landscape of upstate New York, a natural world which mimics the man-made creation of the town of Wedeskyll. Cover of Snow is also a complex mystery in its own right, and follows characters that have depth, history, and likeability. If anything, I was surprised, on finishing the novel, to find that it appears to be a stand-alone story. I would like to see more of Nora and the reporter Ned who gets involved in the investigation.
I really don’t have too many critiques of this novel, other than to warn readers, as noted above, against having the expectation that it will have the disturbing tone of Gone Girl. I can see the Gillian Flynn comparison -a bit- if one is thinking of her novel Sharp Objects, in that both that novel, and Cover of Snow, involve the long-buried secrets of a small town. But despite the sub-zero temperatures that Nora inhabits, Cover of Snow leaves the reader with a sense of warmth and hope that she will find joy in her future.
I recommend Cover of Snow to fans of a good mystery with a strong sense of place, and will be waiting impatiently for Milchman’s upcoming novel, Ruin Falls.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa Alber
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 14:32:32

    I’ve been curious about Milchman for awhile. Thanks for posting!


  2. Jenny Milchman
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 07:33:22

    Thank you for sharing this kind review, Hannah. The sense of hope you hone in on may be one of the things I strive for most, so I really appreciate your feeling about it. In preparation for my new one about to come out, I’ve been blogging about why I write suspense. You identified maybe the number 1 reason. Thank you again.

    And thanks, Lisa, for being curious!


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