A Haunting in the Arctic by C. J. Cooke – Book Review

A Haunting in the Arctic

C. J. Cooke brings us a haunting, icy ghost story 

A Haunting in the Arctic by C. J. Cooke is a chillingly haunting historical horror ghost story that takes you to the isolated parts of Iceland. Cooke is known for bringing us ghostly novels like The Lighthouse Witches (2021), and The Nesting (2020), introducing us to a story filled with kidnapping, violence and the supernatural.

The story is told by jumping back and forth through two distinct timeframes. The first follows Nicky, a young woman who finds herself aboard the whaling ship the Ormen after being abducted. As the boat sails further into the sea, it becomes evident that Nicky’s kidnapping was no accident, trapping her on board with a mysterious crew.

The second timeline takes place approximately a hundred years later when the Ormen washes up off the coast of Iceland. Dominique, an adventurous young woman, embarks on a mission to find and document the ship’s contents before its destruction by an oncoming storm. However, she soon realizes that she is not alone in her pursuit, as she is joined by three more adventurers, and possibly something else.

From the very beginning, A Haunting in the Arctic immerses you in an intensely atmospheric setting. Cooke gives you an almost tangible sense of cold and fear, creating an eerie backdrop for the unfolding events. The ship, the Ormen, with its creaking timbers and strange noises, becomes a character in itself, adding to the sense of unease that permeates the story.

The characters themselves are complex, each one grappling with their own demons. Nicky’s nightmarish ordeal and her strength in the face of extreme circumstances are nothing short of astonishing. Dominique, on the other hand, is a loner who yearns for solitude, making her journey aboard the Ormen all the more daunting. Even when she is introduced to three other characters she greets them with suspicion.

Overall, A Haunting in the Arctic is a tale of revenge and trauma, woven into a supernatural plot. This is something that Cooke has always been good at writing. Cooke explores the lengths to which individuals will go to seek justice and find closure, even in the face of unimaginable horrors. The book draws out a range of emotions, from shock and sadness to fear and awe. Some moments will leave you gasping and questioning your perceptions, showcasing Cooke’s ability to craft unexpected twists and turns.

While the book’s dark and brutal themes may not be for everyone, A Haunting in the Arctic stands out as a haunting and remarkable read, and is worth picking up.

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  • Verdict - 7/10

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