cover image Ruin Falls

Ruin Falls

Jenny Milchman. Ballantine, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-0-345-54907-5

In Milchman’s intense follow-up to 2013’s Cover of Snow, Liz Daniels and her husband, Paul, along with their two children—six-year-old Ally and eight-year-old Reid—are en route to visit Paul’s estranged parents in rural Junction Bridge, N.Y., when they decide to stop for the night. The next morning, Liz awakens in their hotel room to discover that Ally and Reid are gone. Within hours, Paul has also slipped away, and police conclude that he took the two youngsters. Stunned by his duplicity, Liz returns to their Adirondack home, where she scours Paul’s past for clues about where he’s gone and why. After an unsteady start, Milchman weaves a complex and intriguing tale, adeptly pacing the narrative as danger escalates for both Liz and her kids. Most impressive, though, is Liz’s transformation from a meek wife, content to cede all decisions to her dominant husband, to a strong, capable woman determined to rescue her children at any cost to herself. Agent, Julia Kenny, Dunow, Carlson and Lerner Literary Agency. (Apr.)