Christmas Comforts: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn and P. L. Kane

Christmas Comfort reads aren’t always cosy and romantic; some of our authors love a good creepy atmospheric book to keep them company in winter! This December you’ll find Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of the upcoming The Girls Are All So Nice Here, and P L Kane, author of Her Husband’s Grave, reading some dark, chilling tales…

 

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn’s Christmas Comfort Read: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

During the cold and snowy winter months, I love cozying up with an annual re-read of arguably my favorite book, The Secret History by Donna Tartt. While it’s certainly not a happy holiday story, I lose myself in its intricate spell of darkness every time, and come away feeling inspired, with my creative well refilled. For me, there’s no more fascinating setting than a college campus for drama to unfold, and the actions of the close knot of Classics students in this story are both brutal and fascinating. It’s a book that’s impossible to put down, despite, or maybe because of, its terrible beauty.

 

PL Kane’s Christmas Comfort Read: Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

I’m not sure my favourite book to read at this time of year will be a comfort to anyone else, but being a writer of dark crime and supernatural tales myself this is definitely a novel I return to year in, year out. Set mainly in the Arctic in the late 1930s, this follows a young man called Jack as he jumps at the chance of exchanging his dull existence as a wireless operator for a place on an exciting research expedition. But after spending some time in the remote bay of Gruhuken, where his team set up camp, he begins to regret that decision…

The sheer sense of creeping dread and isolation in Dark Matter deliver delicious shivers up and down the spine. Especially as one by one the rest of the group have to leave Jack on his own. It’s a reminder, particularly this year, that no matter how bad things get in life they could always be so much worse. The chilling atmosphere Paver creates with her words is second to none, and isn’t always down to Jack’s snowbound surroundings. There’s one scene in particular with a post that is guaranteed to unnerve. One to read in a double bill with Paver’s Thin Air on a long, dark winter night, by the fireside with a whiskey or two, thinking: ‘I’m really glad I’m not there!’

 

You can pre-order Laurie Elizabeth Flynn’s The Girls Are All So Nice Here from your local bookshop, bookshop.org, Hive, Waterstones, and Amazon. Out April 2021.

P L Kane’s Her Husband’s Grave is available now from your local bookshop, bookshop.org, Hive, and Amazon.

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