Audiobook - Dark Shadows: Beneath the Veil

Dark Shadows Beneath the Veil

Susan Omand revisits Collinsport for a peek Beneath the Veil...

The story begins with the discovery of a murdered doctor at the local sanatorium (or "nut house" as one character calls it) in the sleepy little middle-American town of Collinsport. And then a second doctor is killed.

Cut to Alfie and Emma, two English tourists who are driving through the area when they incur some car trouble. They stop off in Collinsport to find a mechanic and meet Eve, an old lady wearing a heavy black veil, who points them in the direction of the General Store and Brett, who takes a bit of a shine to Emma. They decide to stay at the local Inn, run by local girl Maggie, while the car is repaired in a nearby town.

As they catch up on the local news and all the deaths of men in the area recently, they decide to investigate and head to the local bar. There they meet a lot of the weird and wonderful characters in the town, including the deputy and a girl who has just come back to the area after years of being away. As news of yet another murder reaches them and they find out that this time its someone they have met, events take a dark twist. What have Alfie and Emma stumbled into? Why are they so interested in the murders? Who is the mysterious Eve and why does she wear a heavy veil? And why are people humming the same song?

From the first few seconds of music introducing this audio drama I was at once on edge, excited and completely hooked. The music built the atmosphere and set the tone very well, continuing very effectively under the dialogue all the way through without being a distraction. The characters were well-defined and believable, even if a few of the accents dropped slightly at times, and the story was fast-paced and adventurous with just the right level of psychological disquiet and supernatural horror mixed with a dark humour to give a consistently unsettled feel. Emma and Alfie reminded me initially of Brad and Janet from the Rocky Horror Show in their light-hearted naivety but they soon settled in to their own characters and Eve, although predictable as a character, had just the right level of creepiness. With more than one twist in the story, I enjoyed the way the dialogue misdirected several times, making the final twist, when it came, quite unexpected and very satisfactory, leaving the way open for more adventures to come.

It's not very often that I get so quickly hooked into a story and I'm really looking forward to listening to the next one to see if it lives up to first impressions. And I also need to stop humming that song...

Image - Dark Shadows

Available direct from Big Finish