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A Haunting in the Arctic

C. J. Cooke's latest page-turner will chill you

Thank you to Berkley Publishing for the free book!

A deserted shipwreck off the coast of Iceland is due to be destroyed. Dominique "Dom" is drawn to the wreckage of this whaling ship called the Ormen to document the ship's last days. The Ormen has a history of tragedies and strange occurrences. Dom finds she is not alone, and whatever it is that haunts the ship wants revenge. 

 This was such a great read! Gothic horror mixes with historical fiction, mystery, and psychological thriller elements, making for a dark, atmospheric, otherworldly story. It is told in a dual timeline: one is set in 1901 and follows Nicky, the daughter of the Ormen's owner; the other, set in 2023, is Dom's story, with an occasional look at the events of 1973. 

Nicky and Dom are well-developed and head up a cast of memorable characters. I may not have liked the more menacing ones, but they, too, were vividly depicted. Both timelines are compelling and intertwine with skillful execution and pacing that builds suspense and a weighty sense of dread. The writing is fantastic, and the world-building is very well done. This harsh and creepy setting has historical details and Nordic folklore woven in. But this isn't just a chilling tale set in an eerie location; although it is terrific in that regard, it also evoked a lot of emotion in me. It is, at times, shocking, cruel, and heartbreaking as the author examines themes of grief, suffering, and trauma. 

I'll be thinking about this book and these characters for some time, and I am eager to read more by this author. Highly recommended, but readers may wish to check trigger warnings. 

My steep was Lapsang Souchong from Fusion Teas

A bold, smokey black tea, strong but smooth. 


A deserted shipwreck off the coast of Iceland holds terrors and dark secrets in this chilling horror novel from the author of The Lighthouse Witches.

The year is 1901, and Nicky is attacked, then wakes on board the Ormen, a whaling ship embarked on what could be its last voyage. With land still weeks away, it’s just her, the freezing ocean, and the crew – and they’re all owed something only she can give them...

Now, over one hundred years later, the wreck of the Ormen has washed up on the forbidding, remote coast of Iceland. It’s scheduled to be destroyed, but explorer Dominique feels an inexplicable pull to document its last days, even though those who have ventured onto the wreck before her have met uncanny ends.


Onboard the boat, Dominique will uncover a dark past riddled with lies, cruelty, and murder—and her discovery will change everything. Because she’ll soon realize she’s not alone. Something has walked the floors of the Ormen for almost a century. Something that craves revenge.

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