Audiobook – Dark Shadows: The Devil Cat

Dark Shadows The Devil Cat

Susan Omand channels her inner Bast and reviews this freaky feline tale from Big Finish...

A cat cult burning a huge wicker cat effigy- that’s just what you expect to encounter on holiday along the English coast, isn’t it? It’s what faced lawyer-turned-detective Tony Peterson and his partner, the witch Angelique/Cassandra Collins, as they swerve to avoid a black cat in the road. As they stop the car to check the animal is ok, they are caught by the cult members and dragged to a stone circle, although they manage to escape. They are met and saved by Tony’s cousin Lord Trent Melkin, whom they are on their way to visit and to meet his wife Ruby on their English estate near the village of Little Bascombe. On the drive over, Tony thinks he sees a big cat running alongside them in the field but this is later dismissed by his cousin as just imagination.

As they arrive at the estate, Ruby is complaining that the maid has disappeared, taking a priceless figurine with her and the two couples team up to investigate and try and track her down, starting by visiting the police station to report her missing. There they meet up with Miss Emma Simon, an amateur sleuth with a penchant for knitting and discover that the police officer who just took their report has been killed. Investigations lead to a church and the mysterious and blood stained Reverend Tuttle who tells them of the Devil Cat of Little Bascombe. The links between the cult, the church and Lord Melkin’s family start to fall into place... or do they? Why does the vicar have blood on his shoes? What’s so important about the figurine? And where does Emma Simon fit into all this?

I hadn’t come across the Tony and Cassandra thread in the previous episodes of Dark Shadows that I had listened to but their characters already felt familiar which, don’t get me wrong, is a good thing and testament to the quality of both writing and acting. I found the story itself really engrossing and I really liked the idea of the cat cult, which it was made to sound a lot more chillingly plausible than it should be, although the English aristocracy angle seemed a bit clichéd and could have been dispensed with. The best thing about the story though were the unexpected twists and there were several that really came out of leftfield – so much so that I had to listen again to the story after it finished to see if I could spot them coming. However, they worked incredibly well and fitted the story beautifully. The ending too is heart-wrenching, which is all I will say for fear of spoiling it. But is it the end for them? I hope not.

All in all another solid and reliable Dark Shadows story. I’m really glad I got introduced to them and I can’t wait to see what happens next... addicted? Me?

Image - Big Finish.