Out walking during an early spring thaw in the desolate countryside of upper Vermont, Catherine Winslow discovers the body of a woman leaning against an apple tree. The woman, reported missing during a blizzard weeks earlier, is believed to be the latest victim of a serial killer who, Catherine soon discovers, seems to be modelling his killings on an extremely rare, unfinished Wilkie Collins novel that has been in her library until she suddenly finds it missing. Complicating this confusion, Catherine’s much younger lover from a failed affair has unexpectedly resurfaced and is trying to manoeuvre his way back into her life.
'Joseph Olshan has stepped up and hit one for the home team. The bracing clarity of his prose … observes the destructive impact [the] killings have on this isolated region' Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
'Evocative … the intricate whodunnit has faint echoes of [Wilkie] Collins with Catherine in the role of his "Woman In White," wandering desolate hills, but not trying nearly hard enough to escape her past' Boston Globe
'Olshan, has a reputation for writing beautifully. ... Cloudland is a love letter to Vermont' Washington Independent Book Review
'In this refreshingly cliché-free serial-killer tale, Olshan tries his hand with a female narrator/heroine, whom he handles just as deftly as his sensitive male heroes. Although all these chilly, hurting souls are well worth your time, the real keeper is Catherine. Even as you wonder who the killer will turn out to be, you’ll worry mainly about how she’s going to come through all this' Kirkus Reviews