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Today we are really pleased to welcome bestselling author, Emma Haughton to Alternative-Read.com
The Dark by Emma Haughton
The Dark by Emma Haughton uses the setting as a main character. This locked door mystery is a story about survival, drug abuse, hope, and the elements of Antarctica affecting how someone reacts to the environment as they betray and deceive others.
Dr. Kate North accepts the replacement position for the previous doctor, Jean-Luc, who died tragically at the UN Antarctic Ice Station (UNA). Kate has gone there to escape her own hardships and to find a fresh start. But after a few days she realizes that each of the twelve-person team has their own secrets. She begins to ask questions and finds the responses odd. After a body is found outside, she faces off with Sandrine, the person in charge. Sandrine thinks the cause of death is suicide, but Kate suspects murder. After she decides to investigate, Kate puts herself in jeopardy with everything becoming more dangerous.
The setting plays such an important role in the story. The author does a great job in describing how Kate experienced the silence, cold, and altitude when she first arrived. Readers feel as if they have taken the journey with her in the icy terrain with complete darkness, frigid temperatures, and the dangerous conditions. Kate begins to feel claustrophobic, as she realizes how she and the others are completely cut off from the rest of the world for months.
This thriller is compelling and will get readers hearts pounding. Tension is ratcheted up with the isolated setting. Members of the ice station must rely on each other, without any other contacts. Readers can relate given the fact that they also experienced lockdowns during the pandemic. What they might not have experienced is how Kate and the others are in danger.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story?
Emma Haughton: I was sitting alone, my own big night in, and started watching this TV show. We have these Horizon documentaries and there was an episode on the new ice station in Antarctica. It looks like a giant red and blue caterpillar on the ice, futuristic. During the episode it showed that in the winter there is a skeleton crew, about twelve. My writer brain took off from there.
EC: Antarctica was like a character?
EH: It is dark for about five months with no light at all 24/7. Anyone up there would be completely cut off. My brain thought, what could possibly go wrong? It would be impossible to get to the depths there. Planes would freeze if they tried to fly during the middle of winter. In summer it is cold but there is 24-hour daylight. In winter it is very, very cold, and dark. Water and electricity are limited, and there are small living quarters. It could be minus 40 degrees outside. Food and water are rationed. It is a very remote place.
EC: Did you ever go there?
EH: No, but there was a wealth of research. It is very prestigious to get a post on the ice station so many blog about it at length. It was a gold mine for me as a writer. There are also people on-line answering questions. I had an abundance of first-person experiences to draw upon.
EC: How would you describe Dr. Kate North?
EH: Her emotions match the setting, harsh, bleak, and empty. She realizes it’s the humans versus the environment as well as humans versus humans. Kate recognizes it is easier to get someone back from the space station than from Antarctica during the middle of winter. She is claustrophobic. Because of her experience she is traumatized and upset. She finds it hard to connect with people. As the story progresses, she becomes brave; yet she is still very much vulnerable.
EC: Kate is also an addict?
EH: To cope with the emotional and physical pain she is taking opioids. I found that many medical doctors become addicted to prescription drugs. They have easy access. After her physical accident she became dependent on pain killers. Now she uses them as an emotional crutch.
EC: What was the role of the auto accident?
EH: It caused a huge change in her life. She became guilty and had self-doubt. Kate saw the ice station as an escape. The scar on her face also made her self-conscious and defiant. It is an external mark of her internal struggles. She knows body language gives away what people are thinking.
EC: What about your next book?
EH: It is another locked in mystery. This time it is set in the desert of Mexico with another woman first person narrative. The main character wakes up and tries to understand why she is in this “sanctuary” place. It is due out August 2022.
If you liked this article you may like to read :
The Dark by Emma Haughton
ONE DEAD BODY. TWELVE SUSPECTS. TWENTY-FOUR-HOUR DARKNESS.
‘Outstanding … Haughton writes vividly about a claustrophobic community … her novel really is a superlative locked-room mystery‘ Sunday Times (Crime Book of the Month)
‘Haughton has created a fantastically atmospheric setting … it’s a chilling race to the finish to discover whodunnit’ Observer
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 opportunity 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 . . .
‘A sense of growing menace pervades … the freezing wasteland and claustrophobic workings of the research station are finely rendered’ Financial Times
‘The kind of heart-pounding, sleep-stealing read that you want to recommend to everyone you meet. An absolutely thrilling book’ CASS GREEN
‘Chilling and atmospheric . . . had me turning the pages late into the night’ MARK EDWARDS
‘Tense, thrilling and unpredictable, with one of the most unique and dangerous settings imaginable’ ALLIE REYNOLDS
‘Set against the dangerous sub-zero temperatures end endless night of the Antarctic… Brilliantly atmospheric and terrifying‘ CATHERINE COOPER
‘Tense, twisted and quite literally chilling – a locked room mystery in a unique setting where no one can be trusted’ SUSI HOLLIDAY
‘Atmospheric, original and full of tension‘ AMANDA JENNINGS
‘A real edge-of-the-seat plot. I loved it. Original and accomplished‘ J.A. CORRIGAN
The Dark by Emma Haughton
Book Beginnings / First Chapter First Paragraph / Tuesday Teaser!