Cover of Snow: A Novel
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
WINNER OF THE MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
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.
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.
Praise for Cover of Snow
“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.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Milchman reveals an intimate knowledge of the psychology of grief, along with a painterly gift for converting frozen feelings into scenes of a forbidding winter landscape.”—The New York Times
“Milchman makes [readers] feel the chill right down to their bones and casts a particularly effective mood in this stylish thriller.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Milchman tackles small-town angst where evil can simmer under the surface with a breathless energy and a feel for realistic characters.”—The Seattle Times
“The plot unfolds at an excellent clip . . . ultimately rushing headlong to a series of startling revelations.”—San Francisco Journal of Books
“Milchman expertly conveys Nora’s grief in a way that will warm hearts even in the dead of a Wedeskyull winter.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
From the Hardcover edition.
several towns over as Al’s was to the Mobil. But it was the one the police preferred. The pharmacist looked up as I approached. “Can I help you?” I glanced down at the amber bottle. “Are you Donald Brannigan?” I asked, reading the name under the tab for pharmacist. “Folks call me Donny,” the man replied in a friendly way. Then he repeated, “Can I help you?” Was I really going to tell this stranger that before my husband committed suicide, he’d drugged me so I wouldn’t be able to stop him?
front stairs and sank into the yawning sea of our bed. After a minute or two, I got back out. My throat was filling up, my nose too; I couldn’t breathe. I curled up on the wood floor, where it didn’t seem to matter if I suffocated, down low, a place nobody would ever think to look. After a while, I reached one hand up and pulled a blanket down over me. The sole, lone thing I cared about, in the entire shimmering universe, was why. CHAPTER THREE On the day of the funeral my family members
held the recorder. “Stalking—” “Aw,” Al said. “He’s gone and gotten all upset.” Al thrust a thick, oil-smeared hand against my chest. I stumbled backward, not sure if I’d just been assaulted or simply shunted aside. Al was scrabbling around in a cabinet that stood near the counter. He came out with an amber medicine bottle. No red dot on that one, I’d bet; Al was used to what he was doing. As if in confirmation Al grumbled, “Now he’ll be tired out the whole rest of the day.” “Why?” I said in
without any—” He halted my protest, taking both my hands in his and returning them to the mound. “Dig, Missus,” he said. “Before someone comes.” We didn’t have to excavate as deeply as I’d feared. Still, Dugger and I should’ve torn our hands to shreds, even with our gloves. Somehow we budged the mound. It was frozen, but it had melted at some point after the deep freeze of the season. The hard-packed soil we soon reached shifted too easily as well. I concentrated on scooping out brittle
voice still carried. “Stop!” Brendan shouted. “… not saying you stole anything, kid! Just let us have a look, and we’ll sort this whole thing out!” A howling swirl of snow from the ground blotted out whatever Brendan must’ve been glimpsing offscreen, the thing that caused him to raise his voice even louder in alarm. “Stop right now so we can talk to you!” “Brendan—get down!” Club huffed with exertion as he gave the command, but only one thing made a cop tell another cop to get down, and my