How far would you go to save your child? A nail-biting thriller, ''perfect reading for a dark winter''s night'' (Richard and Judy).
Cass''s husband is missing, presumed dead in Afghanistan. Floored by grief, Cass is left alone to take care of her son, Ben, who has been traumatised by his father''s death.
So when a renovated mill becomes available in the remote Lancashire village of Darnshaw, Cass decides it will be the perfect place for her family to heal.
But it quickly becomes clear that outsiders are not welcome in the village, and Ben is displaying a hostility Cass can''t understand. As darker events unfold, Cass starts to question her son''s sanity. Then a blizzard blows in and Darnshaw is marooned in a sea of snow.
Threatened on all sides, Cass finds herself pitted against forces she can barely comprehend.
A broken family. A dark secret. The cold season has begun . . .
Having lost her husband to the battlefields of Afghanistan, Cass retreats with her son, Ben, to the village of Darnshaw. There she expects an idyllic life of comforting smalltown safety. What she actually gets is less a community and more a moral infestation. Ben rapidly transforms under the influence of the malevolent architect at work in Darnshaw; once a lovable young boy, he becomes rude, cold, and menacing. The hoped-for haven is a stalking ground for the worse sort of predator and an arena where the stakes may be Cass's very soul. The small town that turns out to be a festering hive of dark ritual is a well-established trope in horror; anyone adopting this setting has to find some way to make their tale stand out. But each development in Littlewood's debut is entirely familiar and predictable, delivering all the required steps in this horrific little dance with nary a flourish.