Jack Miller has just about run out of options. His shoes have worn through, he can't afford to heat his rented room in Tooting, and he longs to utilise his training as an specialist wireless operator instead of working in his dead-end job in the city. So when he is given the chance to join an arctic expedition, as communications expert, by a group of elite Oxbridge graduates, he brushes off his apprehensions and convinces himself to join them. As the young men set sail from a gloomy Britain on the verge of war, Jack feels the overwhelming excitement of not knowing what lies in store. Little can he imagine the horrors that await him in their arctic destination, Gruhuken, a place that cannot escape the savage echo of its past.