In the most inhospitable environment – cut off from the rest of the world – there’s a killer on the loose.
A&E doctor Kate North has been knocked out of her orbit by a personal tradegy. So when she’s offered the chance to be an emergency replacement at the UN research station in Antartica, she jumps at the chance. The previous doctor, Jean-Luc, died in a tragic accident out on the ice.
The move seems an ideal solution for Kate: no one knows about her past; no one is checking up on her. But as total darkness descends for the winter, she begins to suspect that Jean-Luc’s death wasn’t accidental at all. And the more questions she asks, the more dangerous it becomes for them all…
Firstly huge thanks to Jenny at Hodder for reaching out and inviting me to be involved in the blogtour for the publication of The Dark, I love a ‘locked room’ mystery and the remote and hostile environment of Antartica hugely appealed.
A terse thriller set in the desolate Antartic, 13 people working a remote station researching climate change. Told in the first person voice of Kate, the newest arrival replacing Jean-Luc, her predessor, who died in a tragic accident, or was it? Not everyone believes so and hostilities quickly rise to the surface in this story made tense by its very location. The cold, the dark and the remoteness all takes its toll but are raised suspicions simply a sign of paranoia – understandable given the environment or is there more going on here?
This book had me from the outset, I loved the remote environment and the suspicion, of everyone, who can be trusted, who can’t? What exactly is happening here.? Kate is escaping her own demons and has her secrets, we know this early on but her story is gradually revealed as the story progresses. Equally her issues impact her own reliability as narrator, adding to the sense of mystery.
Another death keeps the pace going throughout the book and again the reactions of others on the base raised questions and suspicions for me, but in a book where everyone is a suspect it was hard to know who to point the finger at.
This book packed in a lot, a detailed and compelling plot held my attention throughout, reminding me how much I enjoy a good mystery. In truth I found Kate a tad annoying at times, but given her issues this was in line with the plot, she was flaky and this didn’t go unnoticed. This worked well given the fact that the 13 were stuck at the base for the winter due to weather conditions making travel in and out impossible, essentially they were stuck with Kate as the station doctor. That said the description of the station and the group was done well and I was frequently reminded of what a unique situation this would be and usual practices would not always apply.
A strong debut that I enjoyed alot and will most definitely be recommending. Publishing this week, will you be adding The Dark to your reading wish list?
About the Author
Emma Haughton grew up in Sussex, studied English at Oxford, and worked as a freelance journalist for a number of national newspapers, including the Times Travel section. She has written several non-fiction books for schools, as well as three young adult thrillers. The Dark is her first crime novel.
This is a blogtour celebrating publication of this debut crime fiction. Check out what others are saying about this great read.