Gideon Frayne has spent his whole working life as a policeman in the village of Dark on Bodmin Moor. It’s not life in the fast lane, but he takes it very seriously, and his first missing-child case is eating him alive. When his own boss sends in a psychic to help with the case, he’s gutted – he’s a level-headed copper who doesn’t believe in such things, and he can’t help but think that the arrival of clairvoyant Lee Tyack is a comment on his failure to find the little girl.
But Lee is hard to hate, no matter how Gideon tries. At first Lee’s insights into the case make no sense, but he seems to have a window straight into Gideon’s heart. Son of a Methodist minister, raised in a tiny Cornish village, Gideon has hidden his sexuality for years. It’s cost him one lover, and he can’t believe it when this green-eyed newcomer stirs up old feelings and starts to exert a powerful force of attraction.
Gideon and Lee begin to work together on the case. But there are malignant forces at work in the sleepy little village of Dark, and not only human ones – Gideon is starting to wonder, against all common sense, if there might be some truth in the terrifying legend of the Bodmin Beast after all. As a misty Halloween night consumes the moor, Gideon must race against time to save not only the lost child but the man who’s begun to restore his faith in his own heart.
Once upon a haunted moor is a relatively short audiobook book but it certainly packs a spooky punch. Gideon is at his wits end trying to find a missing girl. What he certainly doesn’t need is the locals stirring up the legend of the Beast of Bodmin moor or some charlatan mystic upstaging him. But is there more to it? What scares Gideon on the moor so much and terrifies his dog? And how does Lee know so much. So much depth in this short story and I think it’s the better for it. The pace of the story is enough to keep the listeners hooked but not so fast that vital information is lost. The mystery element kept me guessing right until the end but even listening to the story many times over the build up and suspense leading up to the conclusion is still vibrant.
Gideon and Lee do not wait around there is no time for a slow build up. They are pulled together and just fit.
Tim Gilbert conjures up just the right atmosphere for this tale. I could feel the atmosphere of a Cornish village with all the superstition and the tension. The accents he gives both Gideon and Lee suits them and the overall tone works for me.
If this book appeals to you I would recommend continuing with the rest of the series.
4 of stars out of 5 for both story and narration
Purchased by reviewer