Audio – Freddy Valentine and The Soho Ghoul

Freddy Valentine and the Soho Ghoul

Steve Taylor-Bryant takes on detective horror as he listens to Freddy Valentine and The Soho Ghoul from the mind of writer David Chaudoir...

We all know that audiobooks are much loved here at DCMG Towers. Today I feel lucky. Today I listen to a story that isn’t from a famous franchise, or a non-fiction delight. Today I listen to a detective story with a horror twist.

Freddy Valentine is mystery, wrapped in enigma, coated in a purple paisley veneer. A record producer, a nightclub crooner, the one-time manager of the heavy metal band ‘Satan’s Claw’, the bastard son of an eccentric aristocrat, a dabbler in the dark arts, some or none of this might have been true. It was the year 2013 but the man dressed in a purple safari suit, stack heeled boots, and his hair was a matted bird’s nest of the Jimi Hendrix Experience variety. He spoke like an East End barrow boy, read trashy women’s magazines and kept a budgie called Grayson.

Detective Chetwyn has a problem. He believes his chief superintendent might be vampire. He believes that Valentine might be one as well, and that he’s going to be bumped off by Valentine’s Polish hard-man Oneski.

The first thing I noticed as I sat to listen was the narrator’s voice. John Vernon is a voice unknown to me but he had an air of authority to his tone that carried off the story well, handled the wonderful use of language with an ease not often found in audiobooks (I loved the use of ‘Sanctimonious,’ it is a word not used enough) and, to be fair to him, his accents weren’t as bad as you sometimes find in independently produced audio. The story is very short which makes the entire thing non-taxing, always a plus for me in audiobooks as it allows for other work to be accomplished alongside the listen, and the six minute or so chapters mean you can pick up or drop off between them without losing the story with relative ease. As far as independent audio production goes, this is of a very high quality with excellent use of sound effects and music. The story itself is great. A nice mixture of detective tale and mild horror and with the humorous parts, the comedy hits it mark every time, although I think sometimes it is more Vernon’s narration that accomplishes this but that is a tiny criticism of a very enjoyable listen.

Would I listen to more Freddy Valentine audios? Yes I definitely would, and it costs about the same as pumpkin spiced latte does is excellent value for your buck as well. Well done to all involved.

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