From:Cover of Snow
You are different from many of the cops I have interviewed. Please tell us about yourself.
I never wanted to be a cop. How many guys do you know who want to be the same thing as their father? Well, maybe some do, guys who look up to the old man, want to be just like him. I wish I were one of them, but I’m not. Nobody looked up to my father, so how was I supposed to? I was all set to go to law school, but then I met Nora. And something in her called me home. I didn’t want the two of us to keep on living our big city life, her helping to put me through law school, and then me working seventy hours a week in an office and never even seeing her. It wasn’t exactly a conscious decision on my part to
return to Wedeskyull, or join the force where my dad served his twenty before he died. Like I said, something called me home.
How did you become involved in this case?
Here’s where things get weird. I’m not involved in this case. Because I’m dead. The case is what happened to me—and Nora, though she isn’t a cop, is the only person who has a chance to solve it, because she’s the only one who’s willing to face the truth.
Tell us about this case.
Something bad happened on January 16th , bad enough that I don’t think I ever really looked up after that again. The following week passed in a way I didn’t know time could go. Just—unnoticed. I must’ve eaten, I must’ve drank, dressed, breathed. But I don’t remember doing any of it. I can’t imagine what Nora thought. I felt like was wrapped up in blankets. I couldn’t figure out why everyone kept talking to me. Didn’t they know I was already gone?
I’m not sure if Nora’s going to be able to figure out what happened on the 16th. She’s still stumbling around a lot farther in the past than that, trying to learn a secret I was never able to tell her. If she can’t find out about what happened to me when I was eleven, she’ll never be able to figure out this more recent crime.
No one besides me knows the whole truth. And I’m dead.
Was there ever a time during this case that you doubted those that you normally trust?
I trust Nora more than I’ve ever trusted anyone else in my life. But the rest of them? I don’t trust a single one. And neither should you.
How dangerous was it to solve this case?
If I hadn’t died, I think they would’ve killed me.
Did working on this case affect you emotionally?
This case was all about emotion. See, I did something really bad when I was eleven years old. Something unforgivable. My own parents never forgave me for it—my mother anyway—so you know it must be as bad as anything could get. But I was able to get past it the way cops survive any bad day on the job. You take what happened and you put it in a box. You padlock that box and then you forget the combination. Any cop worth his salt has a hundred boxes like that. A thousand.
So that’s what I did. And I was surviving okay. I had a good life, in fact. I loved my wife, even if I couldn’t give her the one thing she wanted most. I was better on the job than I ever would’ve been doing something else.
And then something happened, on that January day, and it didn’t matter if I’d forgotten the combination, someone took a big ole hacksaw and split open the box. And what was inside killed me.
How did this case affect your personal life?
My personal life? My life you mean. My whole life. I lost it.
I appreciate you being with us today. I have one more question. (He leaves) Please come back. What was in the box?
Jenny Milchman is a suspense novelist from New Jersey whose short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine’s Department of First Stories, Adirondack Mysteries II, and in an e-published volume called Lunch Reads. Jenny is the founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, and the chair of International Thriller Writers’ Debut Authors Program. Her first novel, Cover of Snow, is published by Ballantine and
available everywhere books are sold. When Cover of Snow comes out, Jenny is embarking on a six month tour with her family, town-to-town, bookstore-to-bookstore, library-to-library, and other venues that readers will enjoy. Please check her website http://jennymilchman.com/tour/for places to come meet Jenny—and her cop.