ONE DEAD BODY
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 tragedy. So when she’s offered the chance to be an emergency replacement at the UN research station in Antarctica, she jumps at the chance. The previous doctor, Jean-Luc, died in a tragic accident while 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 . .
Not always believable but always entertaining, The Dark is all a bit Agatha Christie with snow and ice. Except Dr Kate North is no Miss Marple. She’d be a rubbish detective and while us Pigeons (book club) were often screaming at the page at her ineptitude, plus her addiction to painkillers and tranquillisers (how did she get the job?), by the end we all grew to love her (maybe ‘love’ is a bit strong).
But don’t let any of that put you off. It’s a brilliant roller-coaster (or in this case more of a tobogganing runway) of a ride (apologies for the cliche), never knowing who is telling the truth, who was murdered or even if, the picture ever-changing. Some of us guessed towards the end, but we still weren’t sure.
The main ‘character’, however is not Kate, but the setting. Pitch dark once winter has set in, freezing cold and claustrophobic, in spite of the miles of frozen space outside, it’s amazing that anyone would want to live here cooped up with 12 other people for months on end. Even more so when one of them could be a killer. We never really understand exactly what they are doing there – some kind of research programme I guess.
I read this in daily ‘staves’ with The Pigeonhole and couldn’t wait for the next one to be released. If I had the whole book, I think I would have read it in one go. Preferably with a mug of hot chocolate and a very warm blanket. Brrr.
If I had any criticism at all it would be that there are too many characters to flesh them all out sufficiently, which meant we couldn’t work out the possible motive any one of them might have.
Many thanks to The Pigeonhole and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.
About the Author
Emma grew up in Sussex; after a stint au pairing in Paris and a couple of half-hearted attempts to backpack across Europe, she studied English at Oxford University then trained in journalism. During her career as a journalist, she wrote many articles for national newspapers, including regular pieces for the Times Travel section.
Following publication of her picture book, Rainy Day, Emma wrote three YA novels. Her first, Now You See Me, was an Amazon bestseller and nominated for the Carnegie and Amazing Book Awards. Better Left Buried, her second, was one of the best YA reads for 2015 in the Sunday Express. Her third YA novel, Cruel Heart Broken, was picked by The Bookseller as a top YA read for July 2016.