As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman is a tense and atmospheric thriller that will keep you turning the pages as they reveal layers upon layers of plot and hidden secrets. Milchman continues her triumphs of novels set int he snowy mountains where what is hidden by the blinding blizzard is so less dangerous than what is kept secret in the hearts of those around you.
Deep in the mountains, isolated in her beautiful home, therapist Sandy Tremont awaits the arrival of her daughter and husband. Home, as of late, has been tense with a teenage daughter but Sandy has always tried to make the best of family time. Even if it meant keeping small secrets. Something she learned to do long ago.
As the snow falls in the Adirondacks, two prisoners plan and execute their escape. Their journey takes them straight toward the Sandy and her family. Sandy, her daughter Ivy and her husband Ben have no idea the terror they are opening their door to. At first the prisoners say they are only looking for supplies to help them through the mountains and into Canada. But as the snow continues to flurry it becomes clear that there is much more at stake in this home invasion. How do the prisoner happen to choose this isolated home? Where Ben is a wilderness tracker and guide and has all the supplies they could possibly need? Why does Sandra comply so quickly with all they want and need? And why does the leader of the two escapees, the one named Nick,the one with the hardened smile, keep calling her Cassie?
What begins as a violent home invasion turns into something much more terrifying. Milchman does a terrific job of unraveling the layers of secrets and hidden past the eventually reveal the whole sordid tale behind Sandy Tremont’s life. While the flashbacks may be stunted at times and disrupt the flow of the story, they do tie together Nick and Sandy and who they are. That big reveal actually comes early in the book and lacks the punch one would expect it to have. However Milchman keeps the story flowing and even picking up pace so as the reader moves along they begin to realize that perhaps that big reveal wasn’t really the main plot twist to this story.
Family secrets aside, As Night Falls is a thriller. Isolated in the mountains, Ben subdued quickly, Sandy and Ivy must find a way to protect themselves from Nick and his partner. Whether through guile or force, Sandy must protect her daughter from Nick and the secrets they share. Even though she knows she cannot keep Ivy safe completely from the truth and the violence Nick and his partner bring into her home.
Another terrific novel from the author of Ruin Falls and Cover of Snow!