I wasn’t sure that I would like this book as I read the first ten pages, but it gradually drew me in until I knew that I could not escape!
The opening is a letter to a journalist from Algernon Carlisle, a survivor of the ill-fated 1937 expedition to the deep Arctic Circle, which denies the existence of Jack Miller’s journal. He admits that Jack wrote a journal during those continuously dark days in the far north, but, although it would probably explain a lot, he knows not what happened to it and requests that the journalist backs off.
Almost the whole of the rest of the book is a transcription of Jack’s mysterious journal.
All the way through, I was wondering if Jack also survived, or if his journal was found next to his lonely, dead body, or of numerous other possibilities. Did Algernon have the journal, and have good reason to hide it? After all, he was now an aspiring post-war politician.
When I was a child at boarding school, we used to try to terrify our friends with our imaginative ghost stories. I therefore regard myself as a bit of an expert in the potency of such stories. Let me tell you that this rates as a powerful ghost story.
It also brings out the beauty and dangers of the cold and hostile frozen north.
I really loved this book, and it was nicely capped off with the author’s notes at the end.