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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

As Night Falls

ISBN: 9780553394818

Publisher: Random House- Ballantine

Publication Date: 6/30/2015

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars

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.

About the Author

Jenny Milchman is a suspense writer from New York State, who lived for seven months on the road with her family on what Shelf Awareness called "the world's longest book tour."

Jenny's debut novel, COVER OF SNOW, was published by Ballantine/Penguin Random House in January 2013, earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, as well as praise from the New York Times, San Francisco Journal of Books, the AP, and many other publications. It was an Indie Next and Target pick, won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for best suspense novel of 2013, and was nominated for the 2013 Macavity and Barry Awards for best first novel.

RUIN FALLS, also an Indie Next Pick, was published by Ballantine in 2014 to starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and chosen as a "10 Best of 2014" by Suspense Magazine. Jenny's third novel, AS NIGHT FALLS, will be published by Ballantine on June 30th, 2015.

On her blog, Jenny hosts the Made It Moments forum, which has featured more than 300 international bestsellers, Edgar winners, and indie authors. She also founded the literary series Writing Matters, which attracted guests coast-to-coast and received national media attention, and teaches writing and publishing for New York Writers Workshop. Website Twitter Goodreads

My Review

A special thank you to Random House- Ballantine and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Jenny Milchman returns following Ruin Falls and Cover of Snow with another psychological suspense thriller AS NIGHT FALLS -- a prison break, a psychologist, a past, hidden family secrets, and a family home invasion, with twists and turns you do not see coming.

Sandy Tremont, has a successful career as a psychotherapist, at Wedeskyull community Hospital. She has a nice home, husband-Ben who loves the great outdoors, and not so nice teenage daughter-Ivy, and dog, Mac. When her grandfather died he left her a healthy inheritance and her husband built them a dreams home, in a remote area which offered privacy and seclusion.

Located near an old Adirondack camp, Sandy was fine with the isolation, as she worked part time; however, when she was home she could put problems to bed, and enjoy the solitude and beautiful surroundings. Ivy the teenage daughter had been engaging in the typical teens stuff lately with her usual drama.

Sandy has a dark secret. This was not her childhood name. This all changed after the age of fifteen. A secret which her family is unaware of, until the night she has to face her worst nightmare.

One snowy winter night, two escaped convicts invade their home, wanting supplies and directions to Canada. It is snowing and the intruders are trapped with Sandy and her family. The worst possible, thing happens, when Sandy recognizes Nick, the sociopath, her brother!

Of course, Ben and Ivy know nothing about her past; however, Nick is not stable and it takes all Sandy’s training to deal with the unstable personality in order to protect her own life and family.

Flashing back and forth, we learn of Nick’s childhood to adulthood, and his twenty-four years of incarceration. There hadn’t been a successful prison break since 1961, but Nick had a plan. He and Harlan had been cell mates and he slowly worked on a plan.

The suspense builds slowly as we learn about Sandy’s past, a mother, a father, a brother, why Nick was sent to prison and how the two connect for a chilling tale (with some torture, horror, family dsyfunction, and good twists). Nick is one evil guy, a psycho-nut and the mother; well you will have to read it. Even though it had some interesting parts, keeping you on the edge -- not a cast of really likable, or strong characters.

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