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Ruin Falls

3.31  ·  Rating Details ·  1,023 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
In a suspenseful follow-up to her critically acclaimed Cover of Snow, Jenny Milchman ratchets up the tension with this edge-of-your-seat story of a mother determined to find her missing children.

Liz Daniels has every reason to be happy about setting off on a rare family vacation, leaving behind her remote home in the Adirondack Mountains for a while. Instead, she feels une
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Ballantine Books
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Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
I didn't really enjoy this. It was predictable and alarming.

Also, the one thing that I loved about Milchman's writing - her rich prose - has been stripped away from this book as if someone told her that it was dumb.

I know some people didn't like her way of writing (I read over 50 reviews for Cover of Snow), but I really found her beautiful way of stating things to be her saving grace. Without that aspect, her writing is just average and mediocre.

I can't recommend this.
Mar 17, 2014 Jen rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Ruin Falls begins with a family vacation to visit seldom seen grandparents. Before they reach their goal, Liz Daniel's children are taken from a hotel. Worse yet, it eventually seems that the culprit is her husband.

A frantic Liz tries to unravel the reasoning behind her husband's decision to take their children.

I'm afraid the novel didn't do much for me. Liz failed to sufficiently engage my sympathy, but that may have been partly because Paul's reasons for taking the kids seemed kind of silly.
Apr 02, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2016 Rossy rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller, mystery
I give it two stars because I was really intrigued at first, the plot was great and I really wanted to find out who took the kids!
Well, we found out and it was still great, until tons of implausible stuff was thrown in the mix.
And I got bored and just wanted it to finish :)
May 09, 2014 Lori rated it it was ok
Meh.... I was excited to read this book, but after about 40-50 pages, quickly got frustrated. The story jumps to many different characters and perspectives, many of whom are not introduced well. I got lost a few times. Even within the main characters story, things were confusing and jumped around quite a bit.

The writing was mediocre, the characters weren't sympathetic and I didn't understand their reactions to many things in the story. I considered not finishing the book. Eventually the story c
Diane S ☔
Apr 24, 2014 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
3.5 Loved the suspense and for the greater part of the book I had no clue what was going on, or where Liz's children were. There were so many layers to be uncovered, though I did feel that the relationships between characters could have been stronger. Not so sure I bought into Paul's character or ever really got to know him very well although much about his live came into the surface during the story. Did enjoy Liz's transformation from a weak woman, who needed someone to tell her what to do to ...more
May 20, 2014 Amy rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book, but just didn't find any redeeming qualities. The characters were flat, the story disjointed, and the entire plot didn't seem well thought out (much like the place where the kids ended up). By the end, I was skimming just to finish it.
May 06, 2014 Holly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I made it through 3 discs in the audiobook, but I can no longer bear to listen to that narrator speak in that quavering, near-hysterical tone of voice every single time the mother speaks. And how much time has been wasted describing how hot and humid it is?? Yes, yes, I know your clothes are sticking to your back, the steering wheel is scalding, you can hardly breathe, the sweat is running in rivulets down the guy's temples, blah blah blah. Enough with the heat already, we get it. Anyway--I am n ...more
Lisa B.
May 08, 2014 Lisa B. rated it really liked it
My Thoughts

Liz is heading of on vacation with her husband Paul and two children. They make a last minute decision to spend the night at a hotel. When Liz gets up in the morning, her children are gone. Who took them and where are they?

This is one of those stories where the suspense start almost immediately. I thought the author did a great job of developing the Liz character. We get to see Liz face the reality of how she lived her life before her children disappeared. She has to change how she lo
Jun 18, 2014 Cat rated it did not like it
I had read reviews of Ruin Falls after I finished reading Cover of Snow. The reviews gave me hope that the author was improving her writing technique. So it was disconcerting that, although I had some interest in the beginning of the story, the character development was not satisfactory and the story became so unrealistic that it was difficult to follow. I had even hoped that because I live in the Adirondacks there would be some interesting or recognizable location knowledge. There was none! So ...more
May 05, 2014 Georgann rated it liked it
Too many layers, and too many peripheral story lines and characters. COVER OF SNOW was more tightly constructed. Liz's reactions and actions are perfectly normal but the descriptions are over the top. The sex scene in the middle of the suspense is one example. The relationship with Liz's own parents also seems forced and not adequately explained. The way that the expectant mother is steered toward the PEW group is not credible. I still found that I wanted to finish to see when or if her children ...more
Jun 16, 2014 Naomi rated it liked it
Read my full review:

My opinion: I couldn't figure out what I disliked about this book. There were aspects of it that I felt wandered. I ended up looking at a Goodreads friend's review and she nailed it. While the premise of the story is excellent, the author weaves in too many variables or "layers" to be uncovered that really distracted from the storyline. It was almost as though the twists were too contrived. As a result, I simply found myself bored at times when the book
Chris Witkowski
Aug 27, 2014 Chris Witkowski rated it it was ok
This mystery started out very promising, but then quickly devolved into an absurd, ludicrous tale, complete with a requisite sex scene. Don't waste your time with this one.
Alesha Leveritt
Nov 24, 2014 Alesha Leveritt rated it liked it
I've seen a lot of criticisms for this novel's short comings, but they feel a little unfair. Perhaps it's the number of gloriously reviewed books that I've read lately...only to find them lame and pathetic, but while there is some merit in the criticism, this is overall a good book. A solid 3.5 by an author who has the potential to be 5 star.

The good stuff:
This is a decently plotted mystery with a fair level of action.
The pace is engaging, and unlike some of the critics, I liked the sporadical
Gloria Feit
Nov 11, 2014 Gloria Feit rated it liked it
Liz Daniels, her husband, Paul, and their children, Ally, six, and Reid, eight, are taking an rare and unexpected vacation, to visit the remote home in the Adirondack Mountains in western New York State where Paul’s parents have always lived. “Rare” and “unexpected” because Paul has been virtually estranged from his parents, visits to them being very few and far between. En route to the farm, they decide to stop at a hotel for the night. Shockingly, the following morning, the children are nowher ...more
Oct 14, 2014 Tamara rated it really liked it
Review originally posted:Traveling With T

When Liz and Paul take their children on a vacation to see their paternal grandparents, Liz feels a sense of worry. Mainly she chalks it up the fact that the kids have only seen the grandparents a few times and relations between son and father are a bit strained. But, because she loves her husband and feels this trip is important- they go. Liz has no idea of what kind hellish world she’s walking into.

On the way up there, hot and humid weather, hungry chil
Oct 13, 2014 Denise rated it it was ok
2.0 out of 5 stars -- Road trip nightmare...

The Daniels family is taking a rare family vacation away from the Adirondack Mountains and decides on an unexpected overnight stay in a hotel room.

This was supposed to be a suspenseful thriller about a woman who wakes one morning to discover that her children are missing from their room. Worse yet, it's her husband who has taken them and who has also vanished. The police are unable to help because it is deemed a domestic issue rather than a crime. The
Aug 25, 2014 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Suspense and mystery abound when a young mother discovers that her children have been kidnapped ... what would you do?

In Ruin Falls, author Jenny Milchman weaves a fast-paced and chilling psychological thriller that will make your heart race, you won't be able to put it down!

While on a family vacation in the Adirondack Mountains of western New York State, Liz Daniels wakes up in their hotel room and discovers that her children, eight year old Reid and six year old Ally are missing. Panic stricke
Lashawna Covey
Jun 28, 2014 Lashawna Covey rated it liked it
I guess overall I can say I liked this book, but it was oddly structured at times. The main character of the story was Liz and her search for her missing children, but there are plenty of side chapters where you read about other characters, and it isn't until the last quarter of the book where you understand how they all tie into each other. There is growing dread as Liz uncovers all sorts of things about her husband's past she was unaware of, and a growing sinister presence lurking around the e ...more
Lyn (Readinghearts)
May 21, 2014 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: thriller readers
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: The publisher through Netgalley; and her first book Cover of Snow
I enjoyed Jenny Milchman's first novel, Cover of Snow, so much that it was hard to imagine how she could do any better on her second outing. With Ruin Falls, I certainly got the answer, and it was "very well, thank you". In fact, I thought Ruin Falls was even better than Cover of Snow. I have to say, I really love it when I find a new author and their books get better and better, so I hope this is a trend that will continue.

Ruin Falls is the story of Liz Daniels, who leaves her secluded home in
Aug 06, 2014 Selena rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014
This book started off interesting enough. A woman's children are kidnapped and she begins the search to find them.


Then we find out that her husband (who she felt she was happily married to) was the one who took her children. Okay, still interesting and I am curious to find out why he would take the children. Then we are introduced to random people who are all interested in this secret message board on the internet. I was thinking it was some sort of cult or something, but it turned out
Book of Secrets ☕
Apr 18, 2016 Book of Secrets ☕ rated it it was amazing
I swear I had a knot in my stomach the whole time I was reading this book. So suspenseful!! While on a family vacation, Liz Daniels wakes up to find her children are missing. Many layers to this mystery, and Liz is reluctant to trust anyone. Milchman’s first book was okay, while this one was great. 4.5 stars!
Mallory Heart Recommends
This is such a truly astounding mystery! At the end, I want to start again! I pride myself on imagination, but I could never create, nor guess in advance, the countless,continuous,unexpected,convolutions. How I love this book!
Aug 22, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it
If you liked Jenny Milchman's first book, COVER OF SNOW, and even if you didn't, you should like this, her second book, RUIN FALLS. I didn't read other reviews, though. If you read reviews before you read the book, you're taking the chance that something written may spoil the suspense you might have enjoyed discovering on your own.

So, to make a long story short in order not to give away what isn't mine to give, another resident of Wedeskyll finds herself in another predicament. This is a standal
Tom Mathews
implausible plot + stereotypical characters = unimpressive read.
John Kurtze
Jan 12, 2015 John Kurtze rated it it was amazing
“Ruin Falls” is set in the town in the Adirondacks as Milchman’s first book. This new thriller/mystery focuses on a young couple, Paul and Liz Daniels, and the actions Paul takes to the surprise of Liz. The action sets up the story where Liz Daniels is Milchman’s protagonist. Uniquely Paul Daniels, is Milchman’s antagonist. Milchman provides readers the back story for Liz and Paul.

The main plot focuses on Liz Daniels searching for her two children as Paul Daniels disappears taking her daughter a
Nov 12, 2014 Amy rated it did not like it
This is one of the worst books I've read in a long time. Despite a very promising description on the book jacket, the story itself was just ridiculous - the plot was far too convoluted and seemed to have every kind of cliche, the character cast way too large, and the characters themselves so superficial I couldn't bring myself to care about any of them. Spoiler alert:(view spoiler) ...more
Jessica Bronder
Sep 15, 2014 Jessica Bronder rated it liked it
Liz and Paul are taking their two children to visit Paul’s parents. Although their relationship is a bit tense and Liz has some anxiety about visiting them, they still go. On the way they decide to spend the night in a hotel. When Liz wakes up the next morning her children are gone. As Liz goes through the steps to find her children, things start looking like Paul took them.

The idea of the story was one of the worst things that could happen to a parent. I liked how Liz went from someone that ha
Kathleen Kelly
Aug 18, 2014 Kathleen Kelly rated it really liked it
I recently read Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman, a suspense author. This is her second novel and I found it to be quite a good read. Typically, the suspense genre is not one of my favorites, but the description on the jacket caught my attention right away and what I found between the pages lived up to the description on the jacket.

A synopsis from Goodreads is as follows:

Liz Daniels has every reason to be happy about setting off on a rare family vacation, leaving behind her remote home in the Adiron
Lee Rene
Aug 11, 2014 Lee Rene rated it it was amazing
It’s wonderful to take a first journey with an author then follow their growth through novel after novel. Writer Jenny Milchman first came on the scene with Cover of Snow, a marvelous thriller set in the wintry panoramas of upstate New York. She more than delivers the goods in her sophomore effort, the page-turning suspense thriller, Ruin Falls. Like, Cover of Snow, Milchman has set her story in familiar territory, the Adirondacks. Unlike Cover of Snow, we walk the same terrain in the summer. Mi ...more
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Play Book Tag: Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman - 3 stars 1 5 Aug 04, 2016 05:41PM  
BRB Book Blogger'...: Author Spotlight - Jenny Milchman 1 7 May 24, 2014 02:38PM  
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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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