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ebook / ISBN-13: 9781409123804

Price: £8.99

ON SALE: 21st October 2010

Genre: Fiction & Related Items

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A terrifying 1930s ghost story set in the haunting wilderness of the far north.

January 1937. 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 join 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…


Dark Matter is a spellbinding read - the kind of subtly unsettling, understated ghost story MR James might have written had he visited the Arctic
Told in the increasingly fearful words of Jack as he writes in his journal, this is a blood-curdling ghost story, evocative not just of icy northern wastes but of a mind as, trapped, it turns in on itself
Paver has created a tale of terror and beauty and wonder. Mission accomplished: at last, a story that makes you check you've locked all the doors, and leaves you very thankful indeed for the electric light. In a world of CGI-induced chills, a good old-fashioned ghost story can still clutch at the heart
Paver is the mistress of suspense, and the strangeness that humans can suffer from when exposed to the Arctic wilderness is brilliantly exploited in this period piece
Deeply affecting tale of mental and physical isolation
The ultimate test of a good ghost story is, surely, whether you feel panicked reading it in bed at midnight; two-thirds through, I found myself suddenly afraid to look out of the windows, so I'll call it a success
Dark Matter is terrific....(a) wild beast that grabs you by the neck
The very best ghost stories usually concern the predicaments of the living rather than the return of the dead. It's a point appreciated by Michelle Paver, whose haunting new novella so cleverly illustrates how it is fear, rather than death, which is the great leveller
Neither (Susan) Hill nor Paver allows any doubt. Their ghosts seem real enough. Paver's is, I think, the more disturbing, her vision of an eternally dark world of snow and fear the more convincing, her pattern of mood and suggestion the more satisfying
Dark Matter is brilliant. Imagine Jack London meets Stephen King. The novel virtually defines a new genre: literary creepy. I loved it
Jeffrey Deaver
It's an elegantly told tale with a vivid sense of place - and it's deeply scary
Lesley Glaister
Disquieting and poIgnant in equal measure, Paver's novel reminds us that fear of the dark is the oldest fear of all. An ideal read for long winter evenings
This gripping ghost story has moments of horror and beauty
An atmospheric ghost story that would give Susan Hill a run for her money
More than just a ghost story, this is an exquisitely told psychological thriller. Unputdownable!
Ghost stories don't frighten me much but this one did. Quite a lot, actually ... Chilling in every respect
Richard Madeley
Dark Matter builds suspense brilliantly ... As well as a ghost story, it's a great portrayal of Svalbard and the experience of spending a winter in the Arctic