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About The Book

'An ambitious, cinematic thriller' Observer
'A talented storyteller' The Times
'A cinematic epic' Daily Mail

What if the only hope for survival becomes the greatest threat?

From the brilliant, bestselling author of Child 44 comes a suspenseful and fast-paced novel about a colony of global apocalypse survivors seeking to reinvent civilisation under the most extreme conditions imaginable.

The world has fallen. Without warning, a mysterious and omnipotent force has claimed the planet for their own. There are no negotiations, no demands, no reasons given for their actions. All they have is a message: humanity has thirty days to reach the one place on Earth where they will be allowed to exist… Antarctica.

Cold People follows the journeys of a handful of those who endure the frantic exodus to the most extreme environment on the planet. But their goal is not merely to survive the present. Because as they cling to life on the ice, the remnants of their past swept away, they must also confront the urgent challenge: can they change and evolve rapidly enough to ensure humanity’s future? Can they build a new society in the sub-zero cold?

Original and imaginative, as profoundly intimate as it is grand in scope, Cold People is a masterful and unforgettable epic.

Praise for Tom Rob Smith

‘A remarkable achievement’
Jeffery Deaver
‘Amazing’ Lee Child
‘Chilling, hypnotic and thoroughly compelling’ Mark Billingham
‘Truly original and chilling’ Jojo Moyes
‘Tom Rob Smith’s mastery of suspense will make any reader’s heart pound’ Financial Times
‘A thrilling, intense piece of fiction’ Observer
‘Ingeniously plotted... a high voltage story’ New York Times
‘Perfectly plotted, utterly terrifying’ Daily Mail
‘A mind-blowing, addictive plot that will have you on the edge of your seat’ Stylist
‘A powerful page-turner’ GQ
‘Taut and atmospheric’ Irish Independent
‘Masterly... read this and shiver’ Telegraph

About The Author

James Hopkirk

Tom Rob Smith is the author of the acclaimed Child 44 trilogy. Child 44 itself was a global publishing sensation, selling over two million copies. It was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Prize and won the CWA Steel Dagger Award. His most recent novel, The Farm, was a #1 international bestseller. Tom also writes for television and won a Writer’s Guild Award for best adapted series and an Emmy and Golden Globe for best limited series with American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. He is also the creator and executive producer of FX’s suspense thriller series Class of ’09.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (February 1, 2023)
  • Length: 464 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471133114

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Raves and Reviews

‘Much more than a work of science fiction, this is a human tale, filled with emotionally driven plots that weave together into the most satisfying of climactic events. It also boasts locational descriptions that fill the mind with dazzling visual landscapes of the frozen tundra. Cold People is a captivating piece of fiction, moving across different time periods – the past, present, and future – ultimately, exploring the age-old question of human nature: if everything changes, does anything or anyone really change?’

Glam Adelaide

‘Phenomenally imagined, intricately woven, and masterfully brought to life. It’s so descriptive that rarely have I read a book where I’ve felt I am living side by side with the characters. As a writer, Smith really is one of a kind’ John Marrs, author of The One

Cold People is a vastly ambitious novel, tackling the weightiest questions of our time in a form that rarely loses the tension of a thriller, despite the complexity of its subject matter’ Observer

‘A page-turner… These are chewy and worthwhile themes, and Cold People cleverly distils them to the point where they play out, and reach a satisfying climax, at human scale… Cold People will entertain and impress’ The Times

‘A cinematic epic of global cataclysm and extraterrestrials… Themes of love, family and belonging are writ large… It’s the spectacular world-building, and creature-building, of the novel that’s most absorbing’ Daily Mail

‘Chilling in so many ways’ LA Times

‘Cinematic... Natural selection is magnificent in the abstract, when it works over millennia, but seeing it sped up to take place in a single lifetime, as Smith vividly imagines, exposes its brutality’ Washington Post

‘A zany, wildly gripping, dark futuristic fantasy that achieves escapist lift-off [and] recalls H.P. Lovecraft and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I loved this wild, imaginative, fast moving book and can’t wait to see the inevitable screen adaptation’ Vogue

‘What lines, if any, shouldn’t be crossed to save humanity from extinction? That question is at the heart of this stunning post-apocalyptic thriller from bestseller Smith... The central story line, a clever homage to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, unfolds in a way to ensure readers become attached to Echo and her family. Smith, the author of brilliant historical and psychological suspense novels, shows his range is even broader in this triumph of imagination and empathy’ Publishers Weekly

‘Fascinating... a propulsive ride [that] unfolds at a galloping pace through a well-built world’ Christian Science Monitor

‘A brilliantly conceived post-apocalyptic story that tackles a well-worn subject (a desperate race to save humanity) from a new and absolutely captivating angle. Smith’s near-future world is wonderfully imaginative and rigorously detailed, the kind of made-up place that feels viscerally real. A real treat for fans of post-apocalyptic fiction’ Booklist

‘Smith’s latest combines a number of electrifying sci-fi set pieces with a breathtaking insight into the human instinct to love life and each other, no matter the cost... A speculative masterpiece that will resonate with fans of Emily St. John Mandel, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Jeff VanderMeer’ Library Journal

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