DiscoverPsychological Thriller

Snow Fall

By

Not for me 😔

Intriguing premise that falls short through too many quick-paced twists and turns.

Synopsis

New York, Christmas 1984.

A city in crisis, two lives at stake.

Philip Sanders has a perfect life and a perfect wife. Independent and ambitious, Ellie is his compass and his destination all in one. She is the mother of funny, loving, adorable four-year-old Chris.

Then she is gone, killed in a horrific accident.

Philip moves to New York with his son, desperate for a fresh start. Instead, he finds a rough, merciless city, ravaged by crime and drugs. Philip starts to feel that danger stalks them every day. Then he understands that someone is orchestrating that danger...

Now Philip can't stop asking questions. And some answers take him back to his wife's death.

Did it happen as he thought? As he was told?

Did it happen at all?

Can you ever really know someone?

Philip is lost in a maelstrom of secrets, greed and malice. He stands at the edge of an abyss, hoping salvation lies on the other side.

Snow Fall is a rollercoaster emotional journey into the heart of someone you love, through the labyrinths of a great, changing city. This book contains strong language, drugs and violent sexual situations. First volume in the New York Quartet.

When I read the synopsis for Snowfall, I was intrigued by the mysterious nature of the theme. I love a good mystery tale that keeps me guessing until the very end. It’s important, however that that mystery remains clear and concise with a “solvable” point to it. To me the mystery in the story was always about Ellie. Did she die or not? If not, where was she? Why the secrecy or possible fake death?


There were times, however, throughout the story where I felt as though Ellie’s mystery was overshadowed by Philip’s quest to rebuild a new life with his son in New York City. The fact that Philip got involved with a variety of nefarious characters and scenarios in rapid succession made it difficult to keep track of certain plot points that would only be made comprehensible at the very end of the story.

While reading this story, I often found myself feeling as though I was being tossed back and forth between Philip the father, Philip the maybe widower, Philip the drug user and Philip the crime solver. These various versions of Philip all felt like separate characters instead of just different characteristics of one person.


There is just so much going on with the story that you almost have to read it from beginning to end very quickly in order to keep up with what is happening. It’s like having to pay attention to a movie in a theater because you know there’s no rewind or pause button. When I would put it down and come back to it a day or two later, I often found myself lost and trying to remember what key points had occurred in the previous 20 pages.


Throughout the story, I could almost envision all these different puzzle pieces floating around. I knew that they had to fit together; but figuring out how they would was a long process. The thing that saves the story (at least it did for me) is that in the end, they all do. In a clear and concise matter as though the author waves his magic wand and the puzzle falls together in one fell swoop on the table.


The story was good...just not my favorite.

Reviewed by

I am an avid reader of various fiction genres including historical, contemporary, suspense , mystery and literary. In addition I also enjoy personal development books. I average reading 4-5 books Per month or more depending how good they are!

Synopsis

New York, Christmas 1984.

A city in crisis, two lives at stake.

Philip Sanders has a perfect life and a perfect wife. Independent and ambitious, Ellie is his compass and his destination all in one. She is the mother of funny, loving, adorable four-year-old Chris.

Then she is gone, killed in a horrific accident.

Philip moves to New York with his son, desperate for a fresh start. Instead, he finds a rough, merciless city, ravaged by crime and drugs. Philip starts to feel that danger stalks them every day. Then he understands that someone is orchestrating that danger...

Now Philip can't stop asking questions. And some answers take him back to his wife's death.

Did it happen as he thought? As he was told?

Did it happen at all?

Can you ever really know someone?

Philip is lost in a maelstrom of secrets, greed and malice. He stands at the edge of an abyss, hoping salvation lies on the other side.

Snow Fall is a rollercoaster emotional journey into the heart of someone you love, through the labyrinths of a great, changing city. This book contains strong language, drugs and violent sexual situations. First volume in the New York Quartet.

The Dream



December 13, 3 a.m. New York City


The dream began as it always did, with simple memories. The dream always twisted out of control.

The house stood on a hill. There were trees surrounding it: eucalyptus, scrub oak, grasses that made dry sounds in the wind like miles of prairie. It was quiet there, serene even, overlooking Hollywood but high enough for the sounds to drift and die.

Inside was the master bedroom where Ellie and I slept. Across the hall was Chris’s room, with the angled ceiling he loved so much. The living room had a massive stone fireplace and a picture window with a view of city lights. The small and steep backyard held a patio and a cleared patch of red earth in which Ellie grew vegetables. From the front yard a path led down the hill to a quiet dead-end street. Right at the bottom was the kindergarten Chris would soon attend. 

We lived a perfect live. All of us were happy. 

Sometimes we had problems, sometimes we argued. 

That morning, it was about her traveling: Chicago, New York and Dallas earlier that month, New York again that day.

It was early morning. She still wore her favorite nightgown, an old flannel shirt of mine. The soft fabric ended at slim tan thighs. Her cobalt eyes sparkled even though she was barely awake. She pursed her lips, the dark red lips that never needed lipstick. 

“Philip. It is okay, isn’t it?”

I could have told her not to go, right then, or when she went in to pack, or later as she paused at the door. But standing there, I felt my resentment fade away. Of course it was all right. And anyway, what could I say that she wouldn’t have an answer for? Ellie had always been the faster one, she’d always burned a little brighter. Maybe we had been a mismatch. Maybe what kept our relationship alive was how desperately I needed her. Simply that.

She looked back once from the door, waved and walked out.

In the dream I always yelled after her: “Ellie!”

In the dream she never heard. The dream did not end there. It always moved on, merciless.

Suddenly, I am Ellie. 

I am entering a plane. A steward smiles and looks at my ticket. “Ms. Bigelow. Good to have you back. Have a good flight.” He gestures down the aisle to a seat. I put my hanging bag on the rack and proceed to 11G.

It is the seat I always ask for on a DC10, the first row of coach. There is leg room, better service, sometimes children to play with. 

There is a child on this flight, sitting next to me. Two years old, younger than my son. As we take off, she looks out the window. In fascination. We enter a steep banking turn to head west towards our stopover in Dallas and she comes to some sudden appreciation of our position, hanging in mid-air in this strange metal room. The child’s eyes open wide in a second’s panic and she wails. Her mother looks surprised, glances to see if I have done something.

I smile sympathetically. “She just realized where we are, I think.”

The mother shakes her head. “Not at so young an age.”

I think the girl understands precisely what is wrong about flying. Her face squinches. I hold out my arms.

The mother regards me and with a little sigh of relief hands her youngster to me. I circle the girl and make flying noises. Not the wave of noise surrounding us, the harsh antiseptic sound of forced air and loud growl of engines, but the magical ones we imagine, the sounds of freedom and surprise. The girl relaxes and then smiles. The woman is astounded.

“You have one of your own?”

I nod. She looks at me speculatively, then glances down at her own midsection and grimaces. “You look fabulous”.

I smile. “Thanks. So do you.”

She shakes her head in disagreement. “Not enough exercise.”

We talk. The flight is pleasant. I work on a film proposal. 

On the takeoff of the Dallas/L.A. segment, the child again looks apprehensive, then looks at me. I smile and make buzzing noises. She grins and reaches out to pull my hair. 

Her mother bites her lip. “It’s not colored, is it?”

I grin and shake my head.

Over the Grand Canyon, the seatbelt light goes on, joined immediately by the no-smoking sign. A jarring drop, a jolting rise. Loud static erupts from the overhead speakers. Faintly I can hear… someone yelling in the cockpit? The little girl looks at me. So does her mother. I try to smile.

The captain’s voice breaks through the static. “Folks, folks. We have a problem. Put your seatbelts on.”

A man, a full-grown man seated twenty rows backs, screams. “Fire! The engine!” He points, people try to stand, fall back.

The plane twists, nearly rolls. The little girl screams and beats at her mother, whose mouth is wide open as she strains for breath. I faintly hear the pilot. “If you pray, this is the…” His voice fades in some growing uproar, people, air, metal. Oxygen masks fall among small pieces of baggage and pillows and blankets. I grab the girl as she tumbles past me into the aisle.

“Jessica!” her mother screams. Lunges, hits me in the jaw with her elbow. She sobs and cries as we hold her daughter as tight as we can.

The plane shrieks and groans, suddenly a living, breathing, wounded thing. There is an explosion of flame behind, a screaming, sucking of air and rising heat and noise and a thundering background subsonic rumble that builds in volume like a flash flood of water in an underground tunnel, and people tumble past me in seats wrenched from their fittings as I hold desperately onto the little girl and the mother desperately holds on to me and the wave approaches. I cry and scream “Chris! Philip!”

The plane crashes, leaps, hits, slides, plows, disintegrates, sloughing off people and baggage as it slows, slows, slows. 

The dream refuses to end. I am in a sylvan field, no longer Ellie. I stand under a full moon. I somehow know this is the field where the plane crashed, disintegrated. But there is no wreckage. Just a virgin field spread with wildflowers. In the middle, a large pile of wood limbs, sticks and twigs. 

Snowflakes are falling from the sky, the sky without clouds. Snowflakes, scattered high up, glinting, then thickening, concentrating, flowing down towards the wood pile. 

Not snowflakes. Images. Pictures. My images, my life. The house. The hill. The trees.

Images land on the woodpile. 

There is a flickering light now, deep inside the pile. A flame in what is becoming a bonfire. 

Images begin to smoke, curl, bubble, boil. The bedroom and the bed. Stone fireplace. Picture window. Backyard. Garden. Path. Nightgown. Soft fabric. Tan thighs. Cobalt eyes. Dark red lips.

Bursting into flame. Smoke rising. Ash flying. Ellie leaving. Burning up. In an empty field. Watched by one lone figure. Alone.  

When the dream ends, Ellie is gone. There is only me.  

About the author

Andrew P Foster, award-winning playwright and novelist, brings 1984 New York to vivid life in the gripping thriller SNOW FALL. Visit his website at andrewpfoster.com view profile

Published on June 23, 2020

Published by

80000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Reviewed by

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