Nobody writes a ghost story like a Brit. Dark Matter is a slow-building ghost story in the perfect setting for such a thing, the frozen wasteland of the Arctic during that time when there is no sunlight.
It has been a long, long time since a story has made the hair on my neck stand up, but when Jack has his second visit from the thing that haunts Gruhuken I felt that delicious feeling.
This is a short book, and as I said, the ghost story builds slowly. It is very British … there’s no huge visceral payoff at the end as in Stephen King’s The Shining, for instance. This is much more like a Henry James or Shirley Jackson story. If you like The Haunting of Hill House, you’re almost sure to love this book.
I would have given this book five stars, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the way things were described in the final scene there in Gruhuken. I can’t say much more without giving away too many spoilers. My complaint is minor, really, and certainly doesn’t make me regret the time spent with this book.
Since I experienced this one as an audio book I feel compelled to say something about the narrator. Jeremy Northam did a fantastic job portraying Jack, and his change when other characters were speaking was equally adept. Definitely a narrator I’d like to hear again.