On reading: The White Road by Sarah Lotz

Title: The White Road

Author: Sarah Lotz

From the back: Adrenaline-junky Simon Newman sneaks onto private land to explore a dangerous cave in Wales with a strange man he’s met online. But Simon gets more than he bargained for when the expedition goes horribly wrong. Simon emerges, the only survivor, after a rainstorm trap the two in the cave. Simon thinks he’s had a lucky escape.

But his video of his near-death experience has just gone viral.

Suddenly Simon finds himself more famous than he could ever have imagined. Now he’s faced with an impossible task: he’s got to defy death once again, and film the entire thing. The whole world will be watching. There’s only one place on earth for him to pit himself against the elements: Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

But Everest is also one of the deadliest spots on the planet. Two hundred and eighty people have died trying to reach its peak.

And Simon’s luck is about to run out.

The gist: I don’t consider myself to have too many phobias – not too keen on heights, get pretty tense if I run out of cheese – but my idea of pure horror could be summed up by the concept of caving. Squeezing into tight spaces, crawling along in the dark, diving into flooded tunnels where you just have to trust there’s air at the end of it… NO THANK YOU VERY MUCH I’LL JUST STAY HERE, YOU GUYS HAVE A GREAT TIME THOUGH. And this is pretty much how The White Road starts, and then Lotz manages to take that fear of mine and transfer it to the top of the world. Damn, she’s good. Thankfully, I’ve no plans to be going up any mountains any time soon. For reference, thanks to Sarah Lotz, I’m also not too keen on cruise ships, but I guess that’s another story. Combine all this with the pressure of viral social media celebrity and strained relationships and Lotz has put together a modern ghost(?) story that sends chills up your spine whilst sending you on an extreme adventure holiday.

Favourite line: “I reckoned Howard was probably the least likely out of all of us to kill or eat another human being.”

Read if: Your holiday plans don’t involve caves or mountains this year. And you would like to add to your list of phobias.

Read with: A blanket to keep you warm, a torch because you should always be prepared, and check you have reception on your phone in case of emergencies.

Get it: The White Road by Sarah Lotz