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Cover of Snow

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  4,624 Ratings  ·  813 Reviews
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 numb
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Chad Sayban
Nov 13, 2012 Chad Sayban rated it did not like it
When Nora Hamilton awakes one snowy morning to find her police officer husband, Brendan, hanging from a rope from an apparent suicide, her whole world is shattered. Slowly, Nora tries to piece together what could have driven her otherwise happy husband to do such a thing. But when she starts asking questions, a lot of people in the cozy Adirondack Mountain town want her to stop. And a few are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to keep the dark secrets hidden away – even as far as murder.

Aug 21, 2014 Carmen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans who can suspend disbelief
My car crunched over the combination of salt, pebbles, and grit that served as a parking lot. I avoided the gas pump, pulling into a space a fair distance from the row of gray cop cars. Their shadowy forms made my red car look like the afterimage of some alien sun.

Nora wakes up to a cold bed one morning, dazed and wondering where her husband is, he's missing on a workday and after a night of great sex. Only to find that he's hanged himself upstairs. This isn't a spoiler, it's Chapter One. The bo
Jan 25, 2013 Vegantrav rated it did not like it
I very much wanted to like Cover of Snow. I really did, and so despite my doubts continuing to mount as I read more and more, I persevered to the end, to the bitter end. The more I read, the more of a chore reading this book became. It started out so promisingly and ended so disappointingly.

This is a debut novel, and it certainly shows. As I read, I kept wondering: are there no editors at Ballantine Books? Cover of Snow as it is published now is a diamond--well, maybe a turquoise--in the rough.
Jan 30, 2013 Jill rated it did not like it
Some of the writing in this book shows that the author may have a good story inside of her yet, but this particular book isn’t it.

Nora Hamilton, 35, wakes up one morning to find out her husband hasn’t woken her up AND he hasn’t made her coffee! Oh, and incidentally he killed himself the night before. No, it wasn’t because he was tired of waiting on his wife, but the real reason (which we don’t discover until the end) wasn’t a much better explanation.

After Nora’s gruesome discovery, the rest of t
Dec 12, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-debuts

3.5 stars


Nora Hamilton wakes up alone one morning to discover her husband Brendan, a cop has committed suicide, leaving no note or indication that he was depressed or suicidal. When the initial shock, disbelief and grief begin to fade, Nora investigates what could possibly have driven her husband to hang himself. They were in love and with no pressing concerns.

When Nora starts to ask questions, her husband's best friend and partner, the police and even some of the people of the small town
Krystin Rachel
I just spent a chunk of my evening writing a thoughtful review for a book I actually liked, so I'm going to keep this short and...bitter...because I just don't have it in me to write anything thoughtful for something I found so. effing. boring.

me, listening to this audiobook:

Nora wakes up one snowy morning to find that her police officer husband has hanged himself. But she refuses to believe he would have ever committed suicide, especially after the night of great sex they just had. So Nora set
Jan 06, 2013 Cynthia rated it really liked it
Just short of five stars

What a page turner! This is one of those books you decide to read a few pages in before falling asleep and several hours later you’re still reading until sleep attacks. It’s frigid, set in an upstate New York small town winter. Everyone knows everyone else. Many people grew up in the small town of Wedeskyull where it’s set though Nora only moves there after she marries her college sweetheart Brendan, a policeman in this village. Nora has just started her business restorin
Susan Johnson
Jan 12, 2013 Susan Johnson rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book because it had an interesting premise but it never lived up to its promise. I have tried to put my finger on it and I think that the characters are not fully developed. You never really root for Nora because there's really no reason to get in her corner.

Nora's husband commits suicide and she tries to find out why. It's a natural reaction. She discovers he got a sleeping pill the week before so she knows he planned the deed. His mother is openly antagonistic towards her
This book was the most hideous exercise in thriller writing I have ever bore witness to. The writing was very stilted and clipped, the descriptions felt crude and abrupt, and it just was extremely amateurish overall. The mystery wasn't enticing, the characters felt like cartoonish versions of actual people, and there were tons of convenience to go around - and not in a forgivable way.

I was so bored midway through it that I just skimmed lazily over its latter half, and even skimming took such her
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I can't do it. This book makes no sense what so ever.
Nov 30, 2012 Carol rated it did not like it
A woman wakes up to discover that her husband has committed suicide. Having no clue that he had been unhappy, she starts investigating what might have been troubling him, and uncovers secrets in the small Adirondack town.

It was tough to get past the first few chapters. As Nora wakes up, she is immediately afraid that something is very wrong because her husband is not in bed beside her. But surely that happens fairly often in normal life... especially if hubby is a police officer who may be awoke
Mar 11, 2013 Diana rated it did not like it
Finally I finished this book. You know that feeling you get, when you are reading a crap book and you get to the last couple of pages and you are so excited, cause you know you won't have to read anymore about this silly story or these stupid characters. That's how I feel .... times 10.

Things I thought upon finishing:

God this character likes tea, why do I have to hear about it so freaking much.

I hated everyone in this story. All of them! Not one real redeemable person. Teggi the most!

So all t
Nora Hamilton wakes up one morning and finds her husband dead from an apparent suicide. He was a police officer in the small town they live in and Nora can't help but ask the question of why her husband would take his own life when he had appeared to be happy.

I found Cover of Snow compelling even though I had some issues with it. The writing took getting used to at first. In the beginning, I didn't care for the way the characters broke off their sentences while talking to each other. This primar
Apr 30, 2013 Ariel rated it liked it
Nora Hamilton wakes up one morning to find that her husband has hung himself. This is especially surprising to her because just the night before they were getting busy with each other and everything seemed fine. Apparently a lot more was going on with Brendan than he let on to his wife.

The first hundred pages had me hooked. Was Brendan murdered or did he commit suicide and if so why? After that the plot wore thin and it ran out of gas for me. Nora spent too much time dilly dallying all over the
Jan 04, 2013 Nancy rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, mystery, 2013
This book was a train wreck, yet I couldn't put it down. The writing is laughably bad, with nonsensical dialog and loosely linked events. I got this for review and am trying to figure out if I can write it up without totally trashing it. But the fact that I finished it says something since I normally don't finish books I can't stand.
Ronya Misleh
Feb 18, 2013 Ronya Misleh rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy Davie
Nov 30, 2012 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 04, 2013 Kay rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery

Interestingly, the first thing I wanted to comment on as I sat to write this review was the cover; for once, I feel the cover is a perfect image for what the book contains. Nora and her husband live in a small town, where winter hits in full force every year. The scenes are filled with cold, snow, wind and ice, characters fighting the elements on a daily basis. Soon enough, Nora also realizes she has very few allies; it's on her alone to find the truth and fight for it to finally come out
Luanne Ollivier
Cover of Snow is Jenny Milchman's debut novel.

Nora Hamilton followed her husband back to the small New York town he grew up in so he could follow in his father's footsteps - serving on the local police force. She's found work as a house restorer and believes they are blissfully happy. Until she wakes up one morning and finds that Brendan has killed himself. Why? What could have driven him to such an act? Nora is determined to find out. But his police force family seem just as determined to 'let
Feb 19, 2013 Erin rated it did not like it
The best thing I can say about Cover of Snow was that it was a quick, easy read. I understood what the author was going for - a tense thriller set in a corrupt, lonely, and isolated small town. There were too many problems with the execution, though, for the reader to ever truly be in suspense.

First, the main character, Nora Hamilton, was completely irritating. She was described as someone who never liked to question or probe too deeply. The death of her husband motivated her to finally ask que
Bonnie Brody
Nov 20, 2012 Bonnie Brody rated it liked it
Nora Hamilton is a restorer of old houses, in the midst of just starting a new business called Phoenix. Her husband, Brendan, is on the local police department. They have a happy marriage, one that is close and intimate. One morning, after making love the night before, she wakes up feeling drugged and feels like things are not right in the house. For one thing, she overslept and she knows her husband would have wakened her because she had an appointment with a new client. She walks through the h ...more
Jun 26, 2014 Christine rated it did not like it
Nora Hamilton awakes one morning to discover that her husband, a respected police officer, has committed suicide. Brendan Hamilton left no note and gave no indication that any thing was wrong leading up to his death and shortly after his funeral Nora sets out to discover why her husband killed himself.

This story line has the potential to be a great thriller or mystery, but falls flat at every effort. Nothing about this story makes sense, I kept waiting to find out why people in this small town h
Jan 25, 2013 Savannah rated it liked it
Is Stephen King's "Hearts in Atlantis" or "Under the Dome" a thriller? Many would say no, yet these books still come from the master of fast-paced writing, who knows the slavering beast under the mask of humanity. In this literary/thriller tradition, so, too, comes Jenny Milchman's debut, "Cover of Snow."

Some reviewers have said they didn't have a feel for the main character, Nora, but I felt that Milchman was allowing us to follow her on our own: purposely not connecting the dots for us like a
Andrea Corley
I randomly came across this book browsing the online library content, and boy am I glad that I did! This debut novel by Jenny Milchman was such a jewel to find!

I listened to this on audio and the narrator did such a great job reading the story from Nora's point-of-view! I felt like I was literally listening to Nora tell her story! It normally takes me a good while to get into an audio book, if I ever can at all, but not only was I able to "get into" this book, it captured me from the very begin
You might have heard this author's name before because she is the mover and the shaker behind Bring Your Child To A Bookstore Day, which is now celebrated in all 50 states and four foreign countries. She's energetic, driven, and boy, can she write a spine-tingling mystery! This book begins with a shocking suicide of a small town policeman that leaves his devastated widow trying to understand. It starts with her finding out her husband sedated her the night he hung himself. More and more strange ...more
Seeley James
Feb 25, 2014 Seeley James rated it really liked it
An excellent debut. A literary mystery that gets you inside the narrator's head. The mystery is a why-did-he? as opposed to a who-done-it that works very well. It's reminiscent of Patricia Cornwell (before Ms. C started coasting).
Oct 25, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars: A suspenseful read full of twists and turns, that will keep you turning the pages.

Nora wakes to a splinter of sunshine splashed across her pillow. Confused, she peers groggily at the alarm clock. It is already 7:30 A.M. She and Brendan rarely sleep this late. He always wakes her. She jumps out of bed, eager to find her husband. When she pushes the bathroom door open expecting a face full of steam, she is surprised to find it empty. Then she hears the familiar gurgle of t
Mar 24, 2013 Kevintipple rated it it was amazing
Everything changed for Nora Hamilton that January morning when she woke up alone. Brendan, her police officer husband, was not in the bed with her. The normal morning sounds he would have made were not present. No sounds of the shower, no smell of morning coffee, no nothing as the strange silence stretched on and on. She will soon discover the silence exists for a good reason-- the man who made love to her the night before has committed suicide.

Devastated and distraught, Nora just wants to know
Sandy Wolters
Dec 11, 2012 Sandy Wolters rated it really liked it
Book: Cover of Snow
Author: Jenny Milchman
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Length: Approximately 338 Pages
Release Date: January 15, 2013

As a wife for 34 years myself, the beginning of COVER OF SNOW by JENNY MILCHMAN reached out and grabbed me by the throat and squeezed tightly. I couldn't put it down. Nora, after a beautiful night spent with her husband, wakes to find that he has killed himself and left no note explaining his actions. The emotions that Ms. Milchman takes the reader through are s
Joanne Guidoccio
Mar 25, 2013 Joanne Guidoccio rated it really liked it
Chilling to the bone.

Set in a small village nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Jenny Milchman’s debut novel, Cover of Snow, is both thrilling and unsettling.

When Nora Hamilton wakes up one morning, she discovers her husband hanging from a rope in the attic. Shocked by the suicide and numbed by grief, Nora cannot wrap her mind around it. How can a loving husband who was happy with his wife and life as a well-respected police officer kill himself? And why didn’t he leave a note?

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Jenny Milchman is a suspense writer from New York State, who lived for eleven months on the road with her family on what Shelf Awareness called “the world’s longest book tour.”

After a thirteen year journey/trek/slog toward publication, Jenny’s debut novel, COVER OF SNOW, was acquired by Random House. It won the Mary Higgins Clark award, was praised by the New York Times, and chosen as an Indie Nex
More about Jenny Milchman...

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