It’s at about this time of year that my grandfather always used to say ‘Aaah, the nights are drawing in …’. I’ve always loved the darker, colder months, perverse though that may be. And winter just isn’t winter without the additional chill of a genuinely scary ghost story. This year, Lord Halifax’s Ghost Book will be getting a rest whilst I sit by the fire, because I intend to spend my fireside evenings with the audio recording of Michelle Paver‘s new book, Dark Matter, read by none other than Mr Jeremy Northam.
Published by Orion on October 21st, alongside the novel in print and e-book form, here is a synopsis from Orion’s website:
Clouds of war are gathering over a fogbound London. Twenty-eight year old Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life. So when he’s offered the chance to be the wireless operator on an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it.
Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway: five men and eight huskies, crossing the Barents Sea by the light of the midnight sun. At last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year. Gruhuken.
But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. He faces a stark choice. Stay or go.
Soon he will see the last of the sun, as the polar night engulfs the camp in months of darkness. Soon he will reach the point of no return – when the sea will freeze, making escape impossible.
And Gruhuken is not uninhabited. Jack is not alone.
Something walks there in the dark.
A terrifying 1930s ghost story set in the haunting wilderness of the far north.
To chill your spine still further, here is the atmospheric trailer for the book (which, sadly, is not voiced by Jeremy).