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 numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them.
Unraveling her late husband’s final days, Nora searches for an explanation—but finds a bewildering resistance from Brendan’s best friend and partner, his fellow police officers, and his brittle mother. It quickly becomes clear to Nora that she is asking questions no one wants to answer. For beneath the soft cover of snow lies a powerful conspiracy that will stop at nothing to keep its presence unknown...and its darkest secrets hidden.
This novel began life when one question grabbed me by the throat. What would make a good man do a very bad thing? It's amazing how many wrinkles that question led to. Before I could even start to dream up an answer, I had to figure out what the terrible thing was. That turned out to be the easy part.
Novels are living things. They live in the crosshairs between author and reader, not fully complete until someone besides the author lays eyes on them. And they live while they are being written, constantly writhing and changing in ways that, if we are lucky, we can wrestle into some kind of shape that speaks to people.
This novel took on many different forms over the years, and the version you reading is in its twenty-second draft. As a result, there are scenes that were cut and a prologue that never made it in, which I'll be sharing once the book has had a chance to find readers.
Also a result, this book has spanned a fair amount of time in my life. I was in a Kinkos in North Carolina, writing early chapters on a rented machine, before the dawn of laptops. In one scene you will read, Nora, the main character, Googles something. But in the version my agent read, Nora went into the store to ask, leading my agent to wonder why she didn't just search. Answer? There was no Google when that scene was written, not really anyway.
Every novel is a journey. I'm so glad you'll be a part of this one.