A Cold Season, written by Alison Littlewood, is a spine-tingling horror novel revolving around Cass, a woman who is trying to start a new life for her and her son Ben after the death of her husband on the front lines in Afghanistan. She settles on the idyllic town of Darnshaw, needing only an Internet connection in order to run her website design business. Soon after moving to Darnshaw though, she slowly realizes there’s more to the town than meets the eye. Almost immediately after moving in, Cass finds most of the locals to be none too pleasant, and Ben starts acting out, becoming extremely hostile towards her, lashing out at her verbally and physically. Soon, Cass is locked in a battle with evil for her son’s life.
One of my favorite things about reading, and something that’s attracted me to literature since an early age, was the ability of an author to paint a picture in the mind’s eye of the reader, using their gift to send the reader on incredible journeys through their imagination.
Psychological horror is one of my absolute favorite genres of horror. I love reading stories that play games with your head. A Cold Season is a great example. At times, it has the cold, isolated feeling of Stephen King’s The Shining; however, instead of being trapped in a freaky hotel with blood-filled elevators, Cass is trapped in a small town, with a very dark past. Littlewood takes familiar themes of horror and delivers a unique story and vision that keeps the reader guessing throughout. Her writing comes with vivid detail and sucks you in to the point you don’t want to put the book down. I seriously plowed through all 300 pages in a day and a half. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. I can’t honestly remember the last time that happened. Even if you’re like me, and don’t have any children, Littlewood is still able to make you connect with Cass and experience the emotional highs and lows of being a single parent.
A Cold Season is frightening. A must own for fans of horror. A great debut novel from Alison Littlewood. I look forward to reading more from her in the future. Be sure to grab your copy of A Cold Season!