Author: Jenny Milchman
Published: June 2015, Ballantine Books
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
From the acclaimed author of Ruin Falls and Cover of Snow comes a breathless new novel of psychological suspense about a dark, twisted turn of events that could shatter a family—a read perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Chris Bohjalian, and Nancy Pickard.
Sandy Tremont has always tried to give her family everything. But, as the sky darkens over the Adirondacks and a heavy snowfall looms, an escaped murderer with the power to take it all away draws close.
In her isolated home in the shadowy woods, Sandy prepares dinner after a fight with her daughter, Ivy. Upstairs, the fifteen-year-old—smart, brave, and with every reason to be angry tonight—keeps her distance from her mother. Sandy’s husband, Ben, a wilderness guide, arrives late to find a home simmering with unease.
Nearby, two desperate men on the run make their way through the fading light, bloodstained and determined to leave no loose ends or witnesses. After almost twenty years as prison cellmates, they have become a deadly team: Harlan the muscle, Nick the mind and will. As they approach a secluded house and look through its windows to see a cozy domestic scene, Nick knows that here he will find what he’s looking for . . . before he disappears forever.
Opening the door to the Tremont home, Nick brings not only a legacy of terror but a secret that threatens to drag Sandy with him into the darkness.
My thoughts: I have been looking forward to this book coming out for a while. I've only read one of Jenny's books so far, Ruin Falls, which I loved, but I do have her other book on my shelf just waiting to be read. I love her style of writing and her characters. I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny a few months ago and am going to see her while she is on tour for this book next month and I can't wait. I posted a short Q&A she did for this book a short while ago that will give you a little insight into her writing and her amazing book tours. You can read it here. (There was a giveaway, but it is closed and hopefully the winners have already received their books!)
So, about this book...that I read in one day...while a real-life prison break happened to be going on in my home-state. Yeah...how freaky is that? To be honest, it just added to the excitement of the book, because what Jenny wrote was in some way happening in real life. Luckily for me, that prison break happened miles and miles away from my house, so while I was on the edge of my seat reading the book, with my heart beating a mile a minute, I knew that I didn't have to worry about those prisoners showing up at my door.
I loved that this whole book happens in just one night. This is an intense read and the tension is palpable. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and just couldn't put the book down, turning the pages as fast as I could to find out how it would all end. Jenny Milchman creates such wonderfully vivid characters and those in this book are no exception. I loved Sandy, faults and all, and believe me, she has a few. But, she is a strong woman and as you get to know her, you understand just how strong she really is.
I also loved how this story flows back to the past. There's a reason why Nick, one of the convicts chose Sandy's house, and very slowly that reason comes out. The chapters from the past help to flush this out and they are just are creepy as the present story-line. But, of course, nothing is given too quickly or told outright - layers are slowly peeled back, revealing secrets and a past that will leave you stunned.
This book is the reason why I read psychological thrillers. Jenny Milchman gets into the mind of a psycho and this book is the result. I loved every page of this book - the tension, the suspense, the family dysfunction - it all came together in a remarkable book that I literally could not put down once I started reading. I can't wait to read more from this amazing author, and to hear her talk about her book. If you can, I highly recommend going to see her while she's on tour - here's a link to her tour schedule.