MERCY SNOW by Tiffany Baker

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Released: January 14, 2014
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★

In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake.

June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of itinerant ne’er-do-wells who live on a decrepit and cursed property, have brought her — and the town — nothing but grief.

June will do anything to cover up a dark secret she discovers after the crash, one that threatens to upend her picture-perfect life, even if it means driving the Snow family out of town. But she has never gone up against a force as fierce as the young Mercy Snow. Mercy is determined to protect her rebellious brother, whom the town blames for the accident, despite his innocence. And she has a secret of her own. When an old skeleton is discovered not far from the crash, it beckons Mercy to solve a mystery buried deep within the town’s past.

There’s something about a suspense novel set in the winter, when the season itself becomes a character, adding another delicious layer of tension to the story. MERCY SNOW begins with a deadly bus accident just before Thanksgiving in the small New England mill town of Titan Falls, and the tragedy raises many questions for the people in this bleak place. The author’s descriptions were so vibrant and detailed that I could easily feel the chill of the air and smell the decay of the polluted Androscoggin River.

MERCY SNOW was an intriguing mystery, but it was the cast of complex characters that really pulled me in. My heart went out to them, especially Mercy and her young sister Hannah. The ending was such a shock to me, and it gave me a lot to think about. I was so glad that the author provided an epilogue to let readers know what became of the main characters. MERCY SNOW is a dark and atmospheric tale, sad, but well worth reading.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.