By BETSY RIDER
Special to the Sun-Gazette
Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong.
When the fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: her husband has committed suicide.
He 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 home town suddenly choose to end it all?
Nora searches for an explanation but is soon aware that this town has deep, dark secrets that it is unwilling to reveal and that it will go to any lengths to keep hidden.
Who can help her? Whom can she trust?
Every clue she uncovers leaves her with more mysteries.
When it is apparent everyone would want her to just go back to wherever she came from, Nora is more determined to stay and soon she realizes even her own life is at stake.
This unbearably suspenseful novel is the work of first-time author Jenny Milchman and published by Ballantine, a division of Random House.
It has won the praise of fellow writers, Lee Child, Harlan Coben and Laura Lippman, among others.
Lee Child has said it is "everything a great suspense novel should be - tense, emotional, mysterious and satisfying."
I started it a little after noon one day and finished it the next morning, reading through most of the night - as the saying goes, "I couldn't put it down."
Milchman will sign copies of her book from 5 to 8 p.m. First Friday at Otto Book Store, 107 W. Fourth St., and will discuss her book and its 13-year road to publication.