Audiobook - The JackPort Killer: A Virulent Noir

The JackPort Killer: A Virulent Noir

Reece Morris-Jones joins the /G-f family and kicks us off with his review of The JackPort Killer: A Virulent Noir from our friends at Spokenworld Audio...

A damaged serial killer is stalking the city streets. Bodies left at random. Ritualistic in their method. Brutal. Can Detective Lobo find the JackPort Killer before events get too close? Too personal?

Writer's note: In the interests of disclosure, I've known the author of The Jackport Killer, Kneel Downe, for a year or two now. In the past few weeks I met him in person for the first time at a birthday celebration of a mutual friend and proceeded to get horribly drunk and talk to him about, amongst other things, Doctor Who and socks. Will this affect my thoughts of his work? No. But it's important that I be honest so you can judge for yourself.

Kneel Downe is an interesting author, in that he seems to be interested in taking concepts that are so overused at this point to be trite, infusing it with the weird and spewing it back out so fully formed you would swear it's a recipe as old as time itself. In this case, take one noir tale, spike it with some neo futurism, add a dash of the supernatural and sprinkle liberally with cyberpunk and transhumanism themes and you have yourself one Kurt Lobo casefile. Perfect with a cup of Lapsang Souchong and a whisky shot.

Having not read the text the audiobook is based on, I can't vouch for how much it stays true to the source material, but Greg Patmore infuses the whole book with a world weary feeling. It helps keeps things close to the material’s influences as Patmore, inhabiting the voice of Lobo, mutters curses about genesplices and The City.

As for the tale itself, it’s grippingly told. The atmospheric music and occasional sound effects had me convinced I was seeing the world from Lobo’s eyes. You don’t hear it used as a compliment often but the construction of the story, the different interlocking parts that came together whilst leaving just enough to the imagination, is something to be admired.

I know from reading some of his novels that Kneel is very good at world building and it’s those elements that stand out. Clearly somewhere in his brain he has a comprehensive idea of how his worlds function, enough to drop in intriguing lines that don’t need to have explanations, but make you feel like the world exists outside of the story presented.

My only real complaint, if that’s the right word, would be over the length of some of the story segments. I did find it a bit too much to sit down and listen to the whole book in one sitting and even the individual segments went on a bit too long for my mind to be focusing on just it alone. So I simply listened to in 20 minute chunks instead. Problem solved!

The Jackport Killer is a story that rewards you for your patience and willingness to dig deep into its world. With first class effects helping sculpt the tone and Greg Patmore’s gravelly voice providing the rest, if you have any interest in Crime or Science Fiction genre then this is an essential purchase.

Image - Spokenworld Audio

The Jackport Killer: A Virulent Noir is available from Spokenworld Audio