'What is it? What does it want? Why is it angry with me?'
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 be the wireless operator on 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.
Michelle Paver (born 1960) is a novelist. Her ongoing six-book series Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, set in the pre-agricultural Stone Age, has earned her notable popularity.
Michelle Paver was born in Malawi (central Africa); her mother was Belgian and her South African father ran a modest newspaper, the Nyasaland Times. She moved to the United Kingdom when she was three, where she grew up in Wimbledon and was educated at Lady Margaret Hall. After reading biochemistry at the University of Oxford, where she attained a first-class degree, she became a partner in a City law firm. Her father's death in 1996 prompted her to take a one-year sabbatical, during which she travelled around France and America, and wrote her first book, "Without Charity". She resigned from legal practice soon after her return, to concentrate on writing.