Dark Shadows: Poisoned Soul by James Goss

‘Poisoned Soul’ Charity Trask is not herself. She’s being haunted by musical hall singer Patsy Faye. It’s not a marriage made in heaven. Poor Charity, she’s had a rotten life. He father, the overtly Godly Reverend Gregory Trask, has already tried to ruin her life and she is unlucky in love with various relationships in the past with both Barnabas and Quentin Collins

Charity now runs Worthington Hall, a school for young girls in Collinsport, but there’s evil afoot and the girls are out too late and are being accosted by a monster draining their life-force. Charity is all too aware of evil, there has been enough of it in Collinsport already. But an innocent local man, Patrick, is drawn to her and to her houseguest, Patsy. Unaware the two women are one and the same, he can’t decide who he prefers and whilst he seeks them both out, the danger round to school grows.

As Patrick divides his time between the two women, all three of them attempt to seek out the monster in the school but how can they draw it out without being in deadly danger themselves?

Linking back to ‘Dark Shadows’ TV history and to previous audio book, ‘London’s Burning’, this features Nancy Barrett reprising her role as Charity Trask and this is a suitably atmospheric tale. Once again, it relies heavily on the voice talents and the sound design to conjure up the requisite gothic atmosphere. It succeeds, of course, and whilst the story might not turn out to be totally unexpected, the execution of it is superb with witty interplay between the three characters. ‘Dark Shadows’ continues to be well served by these audios, if only the film could have lived up to these.

Written by James Goss, this audio also features Roy Thinnes, also a veteran of ‘Dark Shadows’, this time in the character of Patrick. These stories just get better and better and they grow on you with repeated listening. The use of established actors from the original is great linking but also with new writers it gives the audios a depth of feeling lacking in the TV series, which in turn gives the actors much more to work with. If you are hesitating, jump in the warm inviting waters of Collinsport, Maine. Don’t be afraid of the icy supernatural fingers around your throat…

Sue Davies

August 2012

(pub: Big Finish. 1 CDs 60 minute story. Price: CD: £ 9.99 (UK), Download: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-568-6)

cast: Nancy Barrett and Roy Thinnes

check out website: www.bigfinish.com

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