The Voices. Book Review

voicesTHE VOICES by F.R. Tallis
Pan Books, p/b, 400pp, £7.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns

F.R. Tallis’ latest chiller, The Voices, starts off very formulaically – young, pregnant couple purchase creepy, run-down house.  While viewing the house, the wife thinks she sees a mysterious figure in the garden, and when they move in, they begin to argue and turn away from each other.

All sounds relatively familiar, until the book progresses.  Set in the 1970s, Christopher is a musician, specialising in electro-synth movie soundtracks, and has a recording studio built in the house.  Mysterious noises start invading his recordings, and he starts picking up strange, disembodied voices as well.  Researching electronic voice phenomena (EVP) further, he starts to experiment and has conversations with some of the voices.  One tried to warn him to stop, but stubbornly he continues even after one voice seems to call his baby daughter to it…

Tallis builds a suspenseful tale, ratcheting up the terror notch after notch as Christopher, his wife Laura and their daughter Faye go through increasingly unpleasant experiences.  The culmination is as surprising as it is satisfying.  A well-crafted tale of terror that will entertain as well as chill your bones.