Dark Shadows: Operation Victor by Jonathan Morris (audio book review).

In an unexpected twist, our hero, Quentin Collins, is recruited by British forces during World War Two. He is invited to help find out what Operation: Victor is all about. Finally in the depths of his despair David Selby returns as Quentin Collins, who realises that he must do something about the state of the world. He has spent a few hours with a dying woman and seen the difference that compassion can make.

Agent Sally Green’s own story touches a cord with Quentin and he appreciates he has wandered far from the human race. Now could be his time to re-engage as the war reaches a critical point. He is increasingly troubled by his immortality and isolation. He is drawn into choosing a side. A war might be a blip on an eternal consciousness but maybe Quentin is more human than he gives himself credit for. The death of the only woman he felt close to is perhaps his turning point.

Deep in the heart of the Black Forest, Doctor Moloch is conducting experiments for the Third Reich using profane forces. Quentin has seen so much already in his extended life, could anything shock him? Perhaps the little matter of a parachute jump over enemy lines?

With Terry Molloy as Moloch and Fay Masterson as Sally Green, this is a superior product with plenty of depth and the interplay between the characters each hiding the truth from each other is excellent. From the opening moments, this develops as an intriguing teasing mystery and the end result is very satisfying. A good sense of time and place is established by some thoughtful scripting and design including a mock newsreel soundtrack and contemporaneous music; there is even a reference to Bletchley Park.

Writer Jonathan Morris combines humour, pathos and a cracking story set in an era we all have some knowledge off from various sources. It spins it all into a tale of the supernatural which tips its hat to the cinematic and literary past but takes a mischievous leap into the future. Yes, there’s a sequel. I’m almost sure of it!

Sue Davies

(pub: Big Finish. 1 CDs 60 minute story. Price: CD: £ 9.99 (UK), Download: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-952-3)
cast: David Selby, Terry Molloy, Fay Masterson, Alex Mallinson and Joseph Lidster
check out website: www.bigfinish.com

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