Sunday, December 15, 2013

3 Chilling Stories

Cover of Snow: a novel (M)
by Jenny Milchman*Starred Review* This superlative dark, wintry debut is set in a small town in upstate New York. Nora Hamilton oversleeps one morning to find that her husband, Brendan, has hung himself. Nora is bereft, and she struggles to reconcile Brendan's suicide with their seemingly happy life together and with his job as a cop in his hometown. Her mother-in-law, a cold, forbidding woman, blames Nora, who tries talking to his partner, a cop who was also Brendan's best friend, but he advises her to move on with her life. Nora can't move on, not without some answers, and as she starts digging, she uncovers secrets about her husband and the town, the kind of secrets that people will do anything, including murder, to cover up.

The ravages of winter impede her progress, but she plows on, determined to learn why Brendan never confided in her, but the answers prove more shocking than anything she might have imagined. These 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

A Cold Season (M)
by Alison Littlewood"Once you open the pages of Littlewood's debut novel, the hairs on the back of your neck are not safe. This classic supernatural story with gothic undertones opens with Cass and her son, Ben, leaving behind the tragedy of losing a husband and father for a place Cass remembers fondly from childhood. Once they arrive in Darnshaw, Cass soon realizes it is no longer the idyllic town she remembers. The apartment building she rented, which looked cozy and populated from the brochure, is only partially finished, and they appear to be its only inhabitants. Then a winter storm knocks out phones, electricity, and Internet, and Cass' nightmares begin. Ben's moods start to become more volatile and explosive. Theodore Remick, the charming headmaster of her son's school, appears to provide a needed respite, but as winter wears on, she realizes he has an agenda of his own. Littlewood's story isn't perfect, and some themes are overdone, but it certainly hits some very high and scary notes." Booklist-

Beneath the Snow (M)
by Caroline Carver"It's been a long, hard winter in the small Alaskan town of Lake's Edge - and things are about to get even tougher. Lisa McCall, a young and brilliant research scientist, has disappeared out in the Alaskan wilderness in the middle of a snowstorm. Lisa's sister, Abby - shaken by the news - flies out from England to join the rescue team. Abby and Lisa have been estranged for years, driven apart by a terrible row, both believing there would be time in the future for forgiveness. Now Abby must face up to the fact that her sister may be gone forever. As soon as she arrives at the freezing outpost, Abby knows there's something wrong..." - publisher

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