Ruin Falls Will Make Your Heart Race

Posted by Allison Hiltz in Book Reviews, Fiction, Mystery/Thriller.
This post may include affiliate links of my choice.

Ruin Falls Will Make Your Heart RaceRuin Falls by Jenny Milchman
Published by Ballantine on April 22, 2014
Pages: 352
Genres: Fiction
Source: Edelweiss

From Goodreads: In a suspenseful follow-up to her critically acclaimed Cover of Snow, Jenny Milchman ratchets up the tension with this edge-of-your-seat story of a mother determined to find her missing children.

Liz Daniels has every reason to be happy about setting off on a rare family vacation, leaving behind her remote home in the Adirondack Mountains for a while. Instead, she feels uneasy. Her children, eight-year-old Reid and six-year-old Ally, have met their paternal grandparents only a handful of times. But Liz’s husband, Paul, has decided that, despite a strained relationship with his mother and father, they should visit the farm in western New York where he spent his childhood.

On their way to the farm, the family stops at a hotel for the night. In the morning, when Liz goes to check on her sleeping children, all her anxiety comes roaring back: Ally and Reed are nowhere to be found. Blind panic slides into ice-cold terror as the hours tick by without anyone finding a trace of the kids. Soon, Paul and Liz are being interviewed by police, an Amber Alert is issued, and detectives are called in.

Frantic worry and helplessness threaten to overtake Liz’s mind—but in a sudden, gut-wrenching instant she realizes that it was no stranger who slipped into the hotel room that night. Someone she trusted completely has betrayed her. Though she knows that Ally and Reid are safe, Liz will stop at nothing to find them and get them back. From her guarded in-laws’ unwelcoming farmhouse to the deep woods of her own hometown, Liz follows the threads of a terrible secret to uncover a hidden world created from dreams and haunted by nightmares.
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Source: Edelweiss

Imagine you woke up in a hotel room and your children were missing. Now imagine that the person who took your kids was someone you trusted. Now, imagine that you know why they took them and you still have idea how to get them back. What would you do? Would you go to the police? Would you seek vigilante justice? If you’re Liz Daniels, the answer might surprise you – what she does to get her kids back is nothing short of what any Mom would do.

Ruin Falls, the sophomore novel by the amazing Jenny Milchman, is a roller coaster of a book that follows Liz as she searches for her children in the overbearing Adirondack mountains. The normally-complacent woman who never raises a a fuss is, for the first time, forced into a situation that will draw her fighting spirit out. As she searches for and interprets clues about why and where her children were taken, Ruin Falls is as much a story about a woman coming into her own as it is a mystery.

Author SiteGoodreads  – Twitter

In typical Milchman fashion, the story is written in a way that evokes strong feelings in its reader. Hearts will race when the children go missing, stomachs will churn when Liz realizes who took them, and palms will sweat when she accepts what she needs to do to get them back. What’s more, the turn of events are unexpected and shocking in the “this could really happen” way. As in, this could really happen to you. So if you’re looking for a book that is also an experience or enjoy mysteries, then check out Ruin Falls. While you’re at it, check out her stunning debut Cover of Snow.

Be sure to check out my list of “Favorite Author People” because Jenny made the list! And check out her website – the homepage is fantastic.


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  • Amybeth Hurst

    Hmm. Something to ponder. I think that I’d enjoy it. I’m always looking for more good reads. Amybeth Hurst, Portland, ME

  • Wendy @

    I think it’s much easier to read these kind of books when you’re not a parent. Though I’m not into this sort of mystery (had some bad experiences with short mystery/thriller stories), this one sounds different.

    • The Book Wheel

      It’s true – it’s way easier to read when you don’t have kids. We just finished Lolita for book club and there was a big difference between the parents and non-parents.

  • Melinda @ The Book Musings

    I love the occasional mystery/thriller. Last book I read with a similar premise (child disappearing) was Therapy. Wasn’t a nice feeling to read a parent’s thoughts when their child go missing, even when the parent is psychologically disturbed (Therapy), but this one I think I would want to read too – I love books that makes you feel. Thanks for a great review Allison. Jenny is right, your review is great and well written.

    • The Book Wheel

      Thank you :) I hope you read it because I think you’ll like it.

  • Jenny Milchman

    Allison, words don’t describe how I felt when I read your review. And I’m a writer. Thank you. Your feelings about Ruin Falls are all that I hoped for, and more.

    I so hope our paths cross sometime when I am on the road on tour! I want to buy you a cupcake :)

    • The Book Wheel

      Thank you so much! I’m glad that I was able to pick up on what you were writing about :) And I am positive our paths will cross – I have every intention of seeing you in May!

      • Jenny Milchman

        Oh–that would be fantastic!!

  • Jennine G.

    Oh see, I read one good thriller and now I’m going to wonder about every single one I come across. This sounds promising.

    • The Book Wheel

      Haha. It happens! Glad I could make your life a bit more difficult 😉