The disciples of early 20th-century horror writer H.P. Lovecraft are legion. Unlike most of them, however, Albert Sánchez Piñol masterfully achieves the delicate tonal balance of philosophical horror and wonder that runs throughout Lovecraft’s best works. Translated from the Catalan by Cheryl Leah Morgan, Cold Skin is both a tightly wound thriller and a fantastical horror novel. In the years after WWI, the unnamed narrator is deposited on a small island near Antarctica to serve as weather observer for a year. There, he encounters a slightly deranged lighthouse keeper and…monsters from the sea. The rest of the novel consists of the pair’s attempts to survive until the narrator’s replacement arrives. Piñol’s murky, one-sitting novel revels in the fear of the unknown and the possibility not only of death, but of going irretrievably insane in the moments beforehand.