In early 2012, in the midst of a cold season of my own, I took a deep breath and immersed myself in Alison Littlewood's darkly fantastic first novel. In the review I wrote at the time, I concluded that it was "a powerful story about motherhood... about family, and the ties that bind us. Excepting a few missteps that it bears saying plague all and sundry authors in this genre [...] A Cold Season is a terrifically chilling tale. A sterling debut which bodes unspeakably well for its author and beyond."
By which I meant Jo Fletcher Books too: a brand new genre fiction-focussed imprint at the time. Now, nearly two years later, I'm pleased as can be to report that their forthcoming slate still looks great.
This week I was lucky enough to secure an early look at what's to come from JFB in 2014, and alongside The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord and Empress of the Sun by Ian McDonald, The Unquiet House — Alison Littlewood's next novel — was one of the highlights of a packed catalogue.
Here's the cover art:
And a brief blurb about the book to boot:
Mire House is dreary, dark, cold and infested with midges. But when Emma Dean inherits it from a distant relation, she immediately feels a sense of belonging.
It isn’t long before Charlie Mitchell, grandson of the original owner, appears claiming that he wants to seek out his family. But Emma suspects he’s more interested in the house than his long-lost relations.
And when she starts seeing ghostly figures, Emma begins to wonder: is Charlie trying to scare her away, or are there darker secrets lurking in the corners of Mire House?
That I never got around to reviewing Littlewood's second novel is a real regret, but I did indeed read it, and Path of Needles did nothing to diminish my appreciation of an abominably promising new horror author. Safe to say I won't make the same mistake when The Unquiet House is released in the UK next March.