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A Cold Season

A Cold Season [Kindle Edition]

Alison Littlewood
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Littlewood's fiction is set in a world where the possible and the improbable rub shoulders, and strange stuff creeps through the gaps in out of the way places. She is the real deal, a writer with a unique vision and the talent to make us see the world anew through her eyes' Peter Tennant, TTA Press.

'This is a very spooky story ... Disturbing in a Midsomer Murders kind of way' Daily Express.

'A thick layer of snow hides the sins of a creepy rural village in Alison Littlewood's chilly debut novel ... an itchy tension-cranker of parental paranoia' SFX.

'A Cold Season is an intelligent, sensitive book. Its chills are delivered with precision certainly, but in subtle yet equally terrifying manner it's the parts that aren't scary which speak as loudly as the parts that freak you out' Spooky Reads.

'a scary read that will chill you to the bone' CrimeSquad.

'When it comes to debut novels, Littlewood offers forth a masterpiece that stakes immediately claim as one of 2013's finest' Horror Novel Reviews.

'Alison Littlewood uses old flavors with a fresh and personal approach to brew a story both sensible and terrifying at the same time' Dark Wolf. 'A Cold Season has taken the horror world by storm and shows no signs of slowing down' This Is Horror.

'This is a very spooky story. You'll love it if you are into tales of the occult, or a fan of film classic The Wicker Man' Judy Finnigan.

'hugely enjoyable' Richard Madeley. 'Littlewood's first novel is an assured and finely-crafted piece of work, probably the best horror debut since Joe Hill's 2007 novel, Heart-Shaped Box' Reader Dad.

Product Description

A BROKEN FAMILY: Cass is trying to rebuild her life after the loss of her soldier husband, and a renovated mill in the picture-perfect village of Darnshaw looks to be the idyllic spot to bring up her traumatised son.

A DARK SECRET: But the locals aren't as friendly as Cass had hoped, and Ben is beginning to display a hostility she can't understand. Then the blizzards blow in, and Darnshaw is marooned in a sea of snow.

ISOLATED: Now, threatened on all sides, Cass finds herself pitted against forces she can barely comprehend.

The cold season has begun...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 434 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books (22 Dec 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006UK6G84
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,890 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Alison Littlewood was raised in Penistone, South Yorkshire, and went on to attend the University of Northumbria at Newcastle (now Northumbria University). Originally she planned to study graphic design, but "missed the words too much" and switched to a joint English and History degree. She followed a career in marketing before developing her love of writing fiction.

She now lives near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, with her partner Fergus.

A Cold Season, from Jo Fletcher Books, is Alison's first novel. It was inspired by her winter commute to snowy Saddleworth.

Alison's short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Black Static, Crimewave and Not One Of Us, as well as the British Fantasy Society's Dark Horizons. Other stories have appeared in the charity anthology Never Again as well as Read by Dawn Volume 3, Festive Fear II and Midnight Lullabies. Her life writing has appeared in The Guardian.

Her website is at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the bleak midwinter.... 18 Jan 2012
I should declare that I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher. If I hadn't enjoyed it, I wouldn't, though, be reviewing it - Alison Littlewood's first novel is an assured piece of horror writing.

At one level, it is a simple story - Cass and her son Ben are newcomers to the remote town of Darnshaw, under Saddleworth Moor. They are soon cut off, snowed in and with no working phone or Internet (crucial for Cass's web design business). The locals are an unfriendly bunch (there is perhaps a hint of Royston Vasey here, with one farmer refusing to sell eggs except to locals - enough to raise a smile but not to break the tension). Something evil is definitely stirring - how will Cass survive as things begin to turn nasty? What can she do to protect her son?

Underneath, though, it's a bit more complicated. Cass has lived in Darnshaw before, indeed, it's where, as a child, her father abandoned her (as she sees it) for the Church. She was never, she thinks, good enough for him. Also missing is Ben's father, Pete - but very much present is the seductive new teacher, Theo Remick, another newcomer to the town, who becomes Cass's ally against the more hostile of the locals. Each of these men has had, or will have, an impact on her, and it is only towards the end of the book that she begins to establish her reality apart from them. Cass's vulnerability comes across very well, as the snow falls and Ben grows into a stranger.

With a story like this there's a danger that because we, as readers, know that something is going on, we become impatient with the protagonist for not twigging what's happening, making plans and facing up to the threat, so losing sympathy with them. There's none of that here.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner 21 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was given to me and I must admit it was a page turner. It gripped me from the first page till the very last page. Started it on Sunday evening and was finished it by Tuesday evening. If I could have gotten away with it I would have taken it to work, but do not think my customers would appreciate it. I work in beauty/cosmetic shop.

Will not go into detail as I think it would be best just to pick it up and read. It is such an easy read and the characters are so easy to follow. Sometimes you have books with compilcated names and it just bores me but these are easy to follow and the desriptions of the places and people are so clear that you feel as if you know them. Enjoy
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tension, isolation, fear and suspense. 20 Jan 2012
Cass has received the devastating news that her army husband Pete has been lost in Afghanistan. Crushed, she moves with her son Ben to the village of Darnshaw, where she spent some of her youth, to make a fresh start. The isolated nature of the location, reached via Saddleworth Moor, is conveyed very early on in the novel, as Cass is driving towards their new home and the landscape becomes a blur, disorientating, as heavy fog sets in. Already there is an element of tension, and as Cass starts to feel unsettled, so does the reader.

Their new home is to be the renovated Foxdene Mill. Upon arrival it becomes clear that they are the first new inhabitants there; the rest of the complex appears to be unoccupied, with some of it unfinished. As the severe winter weather worsens, so Cass' feeling of isolation in Darnshaw intensifies. Phone lines don't work anymore, no post is coming in or out, and any communications outside of the village are seemingly impossible. Ben is able to attend his new school though, and there Cass meets some other mothers and the new headteacher, Theo Remick. Strange, unnerving events being to occur, and Cass tries to rationalise these, and puts it all down to them being new, to Ben being uprooted, but she sees shocking changes in her son and his behaviour. To go much further into the story may be to reveal plot that is best discovered by readers for themselves.

This is a tense, nervy horror story with some weird goings-on. It's outside the genres of fiction I usually read and beyond my comfort zone but I really wanted to read this one. The isolation, the weird and eerie atmosphere, and the tension, is all built effectively, and the growing fear and uncertainty within Cass is conveyed very well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 5 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I thought that this novel started off in a promising manner and it instantly gave me a slightly uneasy feeling and caught my attention. However as I got further into it I felt that Cass was pathetic and unbelievable and she just irritated me. By the end I hadn't really got a clue what was going on and quite honestly didn't care!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pity Saddleworth Moors 10 Feb 2013
A strange book this. Several dubious connections coming together to create weeks of angst for a lonely mother and young son. Saddleworth Moors is mainly the scene setting which these days presents several reasons for disquiet, then we have a dead soldier husband in Afghanistan, a school which has acquired some strange staff teachers and a group of children who must have watched The Omen many times.

If you can get your head around all this and suspend your thoughts of the macabre, you'll be reading a story which concentrates on the mother's love for her child who, little by little, becomes seriously nasty. Putting this down to the loss of his father would seem the natural course of events but not so. There are dark forces at work and where better than within the quaint old Yorkshire village nestled on the edge of the Moors.

But there's worse. Cass, the mother of the story, has a father who is also a priest with a dubious past. Then there's old Bert, a stereotypical old Yorkshire man who slips his vowels just so you know he's been around a long time but he does have a dog who spots that the son is nasty but, regrettably, didn't spot the others. Never mind, Cass has to fight her battle which she does with some unexpected help. This, too, is very dubious as are the murders surrounding her where no police have ever taken an interest.

It's all too weird for me and although I pass over Saddleworth Moors many times in the course of a year, I shall not be looking over my shoulder nor searching out hills which appear to fall downwards rather than upwards. The only place I know where that optical illusion takes place is in Northern Island.

Of course, this is a fantasy novel so we should know what to expect but there are too many obvious fault lines in the situation for it to be a good read, at least for me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Dark and unbelievable
I read this for book group. Nobody liked it. Cass didn't strike us as credible narrator. We found it difficult to believe Ben was just 9. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Elf
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Atmosphere
I missed this book last year when it appeared amidst a flurry of Richard and Judy inspired Hype. I meant to catch up over the summer but somehow the weather didn't seem... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Colin Leslie
3.0 out of 5 stars a cold season
got this book as a "freebie" I think, as it was quite a short book, I was able to fit it in betwenn jobs, storyline was OK but I found it a bit long winded, filled a gap.
Published 6 months ago by Judithcarrot
5.0 out of 5 stars Struggle between good and evil, with lots of snow!
This is the second book I have read by this author, the first one being Path of Needles - which I enjoyed very much. Read more
Published 6 months ago by SJI Holliday
4.0 out of 5 stars Spooky
I found the story spooky and quite disturbing , more so because it is based very close to where I live and yes the moors are very isolated. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sue W
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Good fast delivery , bought for wife as she asked for it not read it myself as it's not my type of book lol
Published 7 months ago by andrew watson
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but rushed ending
This book didn't go how I expected it to and I wasn't expecting it to involve the paranormal. A good read, liked the characters but the ending was rushed in comparison to the rest... Read more
Published 9 months ago by LisaB
5.0 out of 5 stars love this book
love this book this is the seconded time ive read it and bought it lol wait till youve done all your house work coz you wont put it down alx
Published 12 months ago by allison finlay
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read.
i found this book a very good read.having seen a review of this book it lived up to my expectations.
Published 13 months ago by fredslot
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really my cup of tea
I read this book as it was a Richard and Judy recommendation. The language was simplistic and it was fairly easy to picture the scene. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lily Rose
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