The lovely guys at top horror blog This is Horror have written a really amazing review of A Cold Season, Alison Littlewood’s chilling debut about a mother and her child in a remote snow-covered village.
If you were to break A Cold Season by Alison Littlewood down into a series of bullet points you would perhaps consider it to be a collection of well worn tropes and themes; small village cut off by unnatural elements? Check! Deeply religious, estranged father? Check! Sinister, unfriendly locals? Check! Scary, feral children? Check!
However whilst elements of the story are familiar the execution of the narrative and the quality of the prose help this debut novel to rise above these familiar components and provide the reader with a gripping and superbly paced book.
A Cold Season’s protagonist is Cass, a married mother whose soldier husband is missing in action, presumed dead. To combat their grief, and to start a new chapter in her life, she takes her son Ben to live in the picturesque village of Darnshaw, where she spent time as a child when her father was the local priest.
Not long after their arrival bad weather sets in and they find themselves cut off from the outside world and having to rely on a selection of local people for assistance.
Cass receives particular attention from Mr Remick, the stand-in head teacher at her son’s new school, attention that she does not find unwelcome.
As events spiral out of Cass’ control the elements take on an ever-increasing role as she is prevented from leaving Darnshaw and is forced to confront the evil present in the village and fight it for her son.
If you haven’t done so yet, have a look at our video preview: