Review: Darkness the Color of Snow

August 31, 2015 book review, William Morrow 2

Darkness the Color of Snow

  • Written by:  Thomas Cobb
  • Published by:  William Morrow, August 18, 2015
  • Length:  304 pages
  • Source:  Received book from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary:  Out on a rural highway on a freezing night, Patrolman Ronny Forbert sits in his ten-year-old Crown Victoria cruiser trying to keep warm and make time pass until his shift ends. Then a familiar beater Jeep Cherokee comes speeding over a hill, forcing the rookie cop to chase after it. The driver is his old-friend-turned-nemesis, Matt Laferiere, the rogue son of a man as beaten down as the town itself.

Within minutes, what begins as a clear-cut arrest for drunk driving spirals into a heated struggle between two young men with a troubled past and ends in a fatal hit and run on an icy stretch of blacktop. The only witnesses are Officer Forbert and Laferiere’s three drinking buddies inside the Jeep.

As the news spreads around Lydell, a small upstate burg near the state line, Police Chief Gordy Hawkins is certain that Ronny Forbert followed the rules, at least most of them, and he’s willing to stand by the young cop. Finding the driver of the car that hit Laferiere, the judicious police chief tries to keep the situation from escalating dangerously out of control. But in a town like Lydell, where jobs are scarce and everyone is hurting, a few people—some manipulative, some just plain greedy—see opportunity in the tragedy.

Over the course of six days, as uneasy relationships, dark secrets, damning lies, and old grievances reveal themselves, the people of this small, tightly woven community decide that a crime must have been committed, and that someone—Officer Ronny Forbert—must pay a price, a decision that will hold devastating consequences for them all.

Evocative, atmospheric, and powerful, Darkness the Color of Snow is a portrait of decency and desperation, ambition and pragmatism, heated passion and cool calculation—of ordinary American lives.

My Thoughts:  I adore a book where the setting is as much a part of the book as any character.  Cold, snow, dark, all seem to play vital roles in this book.  There is never a good feeling of warmth in this book.  The outside is winter, in it’s ugliest form, and inside the homes and building appear to be filled with chilly secrets and a building sense of dread.

I immediately felt sorry for Officer Ronnie Forbert.  He’s cold, the roads have patches of black ice, and having to pull a car over, knowing it’s driver and passengers is an awful job.  As the scene escalates I felt sorry for all of them.  One dead, the witnesses never being able to forget the sight, and yet questioning themselves as to what happened.  This seed of doubt will be what grows into an angry, festering, problem in the town of Lydell.

Police chief Gordy Hawkins is a good and decent man, and he sees what’s happening in his town, the snowball effect of the accident and wanting to blame someone and yet he can’t stop it.  He also suspects other fowl play from some of the locals, it’s more a feeling than anything else.  His power and position isn’t as strong as he’d like, he’s not sure he can save Ronnie’s job and reputation.

I enjoyed this book very much.  It’s full of the small town people who exist in all communities.  The tragedies of human lives are shared and written well by the author.  He brilliantly includes little asides of what the main characters have lived through, how they came to be in this place and time.  Each small piece helps to understand the here and now.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy a bit of a mystery and a tale of blame. There is a feeling of a coming of age story too, as Ronnie and his friends are shown growing up.

2 Responses to “Review: Darkness the Color of Snow”

  1. Fiction-Books (@Fiction_Books)

    Hi Anita,

    this is a new to me author, however, off the back of your review and recommendation, I have added this book to my ever growing GR ‘Want To Read’ list.

    I have recently read a series, set in a very small community, where everyone knows each other and their business and it was as interesting to watch the dynamics between the protagonists, as it was to follow the storyline, which was also very good.

    Based on that experience and your comments about ‘Darkness The Color Of Snow’, this does sound like one I am going to enjoy 🙂


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