‘The Dark’ by Emma Haughton | @JennyPlatt90 @HodderBooks | #20BooksofSummer

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Dark by Emma Haughton! My thanks to Jenny at Hodder for the invitation to join and for the fab review copy!

Author : Emma Haughton
Title : The Dark
Pages : 375
Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date : August 31, 2021


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.


Say hello to what might quite possibly be one of my worst nightmares. Imagine the setting. The middle of absolutely nowhere called Antarctica. No matter where you look there is ice, vast whiteness, ice, and some more ice. It is freezing! Not just the “oooh, chilly, let’s put on another layer” freezing. More of the “let’s put on so many clothes we can’t see where we’re walking” freezing. You are stuck in this place with a bunch of strangers. For months! Some months where the sun doesn’t even shine and you are engulfed in 24 hours of sheer darkness. With strangers! Did I mention that? I’m sure to many it sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. To me, it sounds like an extremely harsh punishment.

Doctor Kate North arrives at a UN research station to replace the previous doctor, Jean-Luc, who died in a tragic accident out on the ice. To say none of the other “residents” are particularly welcoming is an understatement. Bar one or two, none come across as especially likeable. But then again, Kate is replacing a colleague who died. Benefit of the doubt and all that, right?

Kate herself is a character I couldn’t quite warm to either. In her previous life, she was in an accident although the details surrounding that take quite a while to be revealed. This has resulted in Kate being addicted to pills. Taking them, thinking about them, dreaming about them … it’s all-encompassing. Which unfortunately also leads to her to being at times completely unprofessional and dare I say, incompetent. Often it makes you wonder about her state of mind, in particular when odd things start to happen.

It doesn’t take Kate long to realise that maybe Jean-Luc’s death wasn’t an accident. This obviously means there is a killer on the loose at the research station. But who and why? This is where that unlikeable cast of characters works like a charm because, with maybe one or two exceptions, it could have been anyone. My finger found a suspect to point to quite early on and let me tell you, I was pretty smug about being proven right in the end. 😁

The Dark‘ takes a while to get going but that slow-burning start is necessary to acquaint yourself with these characters and the harsh environment they find themselves in. The effects of the solitude they live in and the cramped spaces they find themselves in add an extra layer of suspense. It’s not that hard to imagine how someone might go completely doolally in circumstances like these. ‘The Dark‘ is a chilling, atmospheric and claustrophobic locked-room murder mystery where everyone is a suspect, or possibly a victim, and danger lurks around every corner. A compelling read, for sure.

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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.

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