Hammer Chillers: Don’t Go There. Audiobook Review

Hammer Chillers coverDON’T GO THERE by Stephen Volk

Hammer Chillers, Download £2.99

Reviewed by Chris Limb

John and Laura Daulby are paying an unexpected visit to a Greek island paradise – but unfortunately leisure is the last thing on their minds, having been summoned from the UK by the authorities after their son Andrew is discovered into a coma.

Despite their awkward history – they never got on particularly well – John can’t believe that Andrew simply overdosed and sets out to get to the bottom of the affair. A series of photographs on his son’s phone seem to indicate that a local woman has been spending a lot of time with Andrew before the accident. It’s not long before John is singled-mindedly attempting to track down the mysterious Stheno.

John’s search draws him down not only into the unfamiliar hedonistic world of music and drugs but further into more exotic and mysterious territory. For just how many centuries has Stheno been bewitching unsuspecting men – and is he about to become her next victim?

Tony Gardner’s portrayal of John takes centre stage in this play. On the surface John is an unpleasant closed-minded xenophobe with a failing marriage – but nevertheless the listener does start to feel some sympathy for him. His vitriolic anger directed at the locals and at the sybaritic club culture clearly stems for his own fear that he is past it and that the world has evolved beyond his ability to partake of its pleasures. This gives his eventual encounters with Daphne Alexander’s passionate and dangerous Stheno extra bite – whilst on the surface he is simply trying to uncover what happened to his son, subconsciously he’s trying to prove that he’s still got it.

The sound design successfully evokes the claustrophobic feel of the sweltering Aegean at the height of summer and combines with the dialogue to paint a very graphic picture of the various locations throughout the island.

This is a story that is far from predictable; its serpentine twists providing shocks at every turn, sometimes from the most unexpected of sources.