It was announced sometime in 2010 that British film studio Hammer had teamed up with some novelists to produce some new horror fiction. The big brouhaha at the time, if I remember rightly, was that Jeannette Winterson had been signed up to produce a novella. That is apparently not due out now until August, but in the meantime, the first of the new Hammer Horror books, a is going to be published on February 2: Helen Dunmore’s The Greatcoat. It’s a ‘terrifyingly atmospheric ghost story’ – take that Woman in Black. Here’s the summary:
Set in 1954, newlyweds Isabel and Philip Carey move to Yorkshire town of East Riding.
There Philip establishes himself as a GP while Isabel tries hard to adjust to the realities of married life.
Feeling out-of-place and constantly judged by the people around her, including her landlady, she spends much of her time alone.
One cold winter night when her husband is out on call, Isabel finds an old RAF greatcoat in the back of a cupboard that she uses to help keep warm.
Wrapped in the coat she sleeps and is beset by dreams. She wakes to hear a knock at her window.
Outside is Alex, a young RAF pilot, waiting to come in. His powerful presence both disturbs and excites her. Her initial alarm soon fades, and they begin an intense affair. But nothing has prepared her for the truth about Alec’s life, nor the impact it will have on hers …
Still with me? All sounds a touch too Mills and Boone like to me, but I wonder if that is down to the way it is being described/marketed. I notice on Dunmore’s own website, for example, the book is simply described as ‘a ghost story set during and after the Second World War, about the power of the past to imprint itself on the present, and possess it.’ Much better.
A late addition: just noticed there is a review in the Independent.
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