Book Review: Jenny Milchman’s Cover of Snow

Posted February 5, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jenny Milchman’s Cover of Snow

Cover of Snow

in Hardcover edition on January 15, 2013 and has 336 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Police procedural and mystery about corruption in a small town up in the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

This is Milchman’s first novel. An impressive tale.

My Take

This was excellently written and incredibly depressing. I just cried and cried at the start, the middle, and the end at all the loss. All the stupid, senseless loss.

Milchman was amazing at how well she strung this out, how she built the suspense. The reasons behind Brendan’s suicide, those initial scenes as Nora goes back in her mind about the night he died. It still makes me cry. All that love and happiness. Gone. And it’s only worse at the end.

I wanted to be annoyed with Nora’s character for behaving so stupidly, but I kept remembering that she’s a normal person. An everyday, average woman who simply happens to be married to a cop. She never intended to be an investigator, and Milchman portrays this very well. Even if I was gnashing my teeth at so many of the dumb things she did. It was completely within character. And…I doubt I would have done so well in real life…

There are a number of conclusions which Milchman leaves you to draw on your own. Fortunately, she provides enough information that I don’t feel left hanging. Well, except for Eileen. What is with her and the way she behaves with Nora?

God, going over my notes to write this review, and I can see how Milchman made use of foreshadowing upcoming events. I’ll bet Milchman cried while she wrote this!

I don’t understand why Nora gets all bent out of shape just because her husband loved someone before he met her. It’s not like people live in a vacuum until they meet the one person (hopefully) whom they’ll marry.

It’s understandable why everything started, but it’s that sense of power that corrupts. The delusion of being God with the power of life and death, and then using it to protect the guilty.

The Story

It begins the morning Nora awakens late, wondering where Brendan is. Why he hasn’t woken her. He knows she has an appointment that is important to her new fledgling business.

He also knows how, um, strenuous their loving was last night, and she’s sure he’s letting her sleep a bit later.

If only he’d let her sleep forever…

The Characters

Nora moved to Wedeskyull when she married Brendan. A big city girl moving to a small town. She’s coped. She’s starting a new business, Phoenix Home Corporation, restoring old homes, and Brendan is very supportive. Teggie is Nora’s younger sister. A dancer involved with Gabriel Deacon and his dance company.

Brendan Hamilton was a cop with his own past issues that he’s carried for too long, and too wrongly. I’d like to smack his mother around! Eileen is Brendan’s mother. Jean is her sister-in-law; Brendan’s aunt. His younger brother, Gregory, died when he was two-and-a-half.

Club Mitchell is/was Brendan’s partner and has a huge black Lab, Weekend. He’s determined not to go the way of his father, Burt Mitchell. Vern Weathers is the police chief in Wedeskyull; he’s married to Dorothy. Dave Weathers, Vern’s brother, is a cop along with Tim Lurcquer and Gil Landry.

Ned Kramer is a reporter in town with a house in need of restoration. He has his own past to overcome. Donny Brannigan is lying about that prescription. Melanie Cooper has a story to tell; her husband, John, is missing. Liv Peterson is Greggy‘s grandmother; Kat Peterson is her daughter and Greggy’s mother.

Dugger Mackenzie works at Al’s Gas & Service and lurks. He’s not right in the head, so most people aren’t even aware that he’s there. And he loved Brendan. Enough, that he will protect his wife.

The Cover and Title

The cover is chilly with its pale turquoise shadows and fuzzy whites creating a lonely backdrop for the bare brown branches dangling just behind the title.

The title is true enough, as everything is hidden under a Cover of Snow.