Ever read "On the Beach" by Neville Chute?
It's a scary and dark story alright.
The premise of the book is that a major war has taken place in the Northern Hemisphere, and lethal amounts of radiation are gradually moving southwards. It follows the lives of a group of people living in Southern Australia as they move towards their inevitable fate. I cried buckets when I first read it.
There are few glimmers of hope in the tale. Part of the plot involves a nuclear submarine, which has been sent as far north as it can go, to find out if the radiation is clearing at very high latitudes. Pardon the spoiler, but that hope is snuffed out.
The characters are in denial. On one level they know the end is coming, and that they can do nothing to prevent it, so they act as if the threat doesn't exist. The American submarine commander buys presents for his dead family. A woman plants flowers in her garden that she will never see bloom.
There's a huge difference between waiting for the end of life on earth,, and waiting for a bloody huge financial car crash of course, but still,
driving lessons in Wallasey anyone?