Book Review: A COLD SEASON by Alison Littlewood

Publisher: Jo Fletcher
Released: January 1, 2012
Source: Review copy from the Amazon Vine Program

Cass is building a new life for herself and her young son Ben after the death of her soldier husband Pete, returning to the village where she lived as a child. But their idyllic new home is not what she expected: the other flats are all empty, there’s strange graffiti on the walls, and the villagers are a bit odd.

And when an unexpectedly heavy snowstorm maroons the village, things get even harder. Ben is changing, he’s surly and aggressive and Cass’s only confidant is the smooth, charming Theodore Remick, the stand-in headmaster.

Not everyone approves of Cass’s growing closeness to Mr Remick, and it soon becomes obvious he’s not all he appears to be either. If she is to protect her beloved son, Cass is going to have to fight back.

Cass realises this is not the first time her family have been targeted by Theodore Remick. But this time, the stakes are immeasurably higher…


A COLD SEASON is a spooky tale set in the remote English village of Darnshaw. After losing her husband in Afghanistan, Cass and her young son Ben relocate to Darnshaw in hopes of starting a new life. Once they get to town, it’s clear there’s something amiss. It begins to snow, and it continues to snow until Darnshaw is cut off from the rest of the world. No one can go in or out. No phones or internet. And then Ben falls in with a creepy group of boys, and he begins to change.

I loved the frigid atmosphere, the heavy sense of foreboding, and the undercurrent of malevolence woven throughout the story. The author wrote in a way that made innocuous things and occurrences spine-chilling. While the build up was engrossing, I was a bit disappointed in the rushed ending. I was hoping for a big surprise twist, but it played out as expected. I also would have liked the villain’s back story and relationship to Cass and her family to have been fleshed out more.

Overall, A COLD SEASON was a pretty good Gothic suspense with plenty of creeptastic moments. I liked the snow – probably my favorite character.

Rating: 3 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for an honest review.