Friday, December 28, 2012

Good Start, But Doesn't Live Up to It's Potential: Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman

Nora Hamilton wakes from a drugged sleep to discover that her husband, Brendan, hung himself during the night. Why did he take his own life? Nora has to know. Her mother-in-law and even the police chief hint that it could have been because of problems in the marriage, but Nora can't/won't believe it. Small things happen. Her sister finds the two wine glasses she and Brendon used on the last night. One of them contains the residue of a drug apparently the one used to make her sleep. She finds a bottle containing the drug in a drawer of Brendan's desk. The prescription is for ten days earlier, but why did he need a drug to help him sleep?

Brendan was a police officer like his father and the police have been like a family, but now Nora begins to fear them. The deeper she goes the more dark secrets she uncovers about the her husband's family, the police force, and the town. The constant threat of snow and the white wilderness, where it's easy to lose your way and freeze to death, provide an eerie background for Nora's search for answers.

The opening scene that draws you in. The descriptive language brings you into the snowbound countryside and gives the story a suitably feel of menace. The plot grips you in the opening, but gradually it drifts into complexity with side plots that do eventually lead to the conclusion, but distract from the main action.

Nora is not a likable character. She's driven by events and does little except drive around her wintery world from one dangerous situation to another. The police seem unrealistically evil and the inciting incident, that happened 25 years ago, not important enough to account for so many deaths.

The writing becomes more flawed as the book progresses. There are awkward sentences and in some cases the events seem to be out of context. This is primarily a problem of editing. I'm surprised the problems weren't caught. I did read an ARC, but I would have thought the obvious errors would have been eliminated before a bound galley was released. However, that may still happen before publication.

This is a good book to read if you are in the midst of a snowstorm, but curled up by a warm fire.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.