The Voices by F.R. Tallis

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Christopher Norton and his wife, Laura, purchase a new home. The home happens to be at least a century old, and from the moment she sets foot inside the house, Laura starts having weird sensations. At first, she thinks it’s her imagination, or her pregnancy. But the longer they spend in the house, after they move there with their newborn daughter, Faye, the more they’re troubled by strange events.

Chris composes film soundtracks in the studio he build in the attic of the house. But before long, strange voices start turning up on his tapes. He’s convinced it’s a technical default, until his friend mentions it might be something else – the voices of the dead.

Despite Laura’s warnings, Chris continues to record the voices of the dead, slowly inviting them further into his house. When he’s gone for the weekend to Paris, for a new assigment, Laura and Faye stay alone in the house. Laura hears weird voices through the babyphone, and grows convinced they’re in danger the longer they stay into the house.

Turns out, years ago, the house was inhabited by a magician of some kind. His favorite trick was making children dissapear…and now he has his eyes set on Faye.

This is an unforgiving, relentless book. The pacing is fast from start to end, the writing is great. I liked Laura more than Chris. It’s obvious from the start that their relationship is troubled, and that they suffer from lack of communication. Neither of them are the same person they married. While some couples work through this, neither of them can bring themselves to communicate with the other, especially Chris. In typical 1970s style, Chris grows convinced everything his wife says about weird sensations in the house, is due to hysteria on her part. He should’ve listened to her though, and respected her wishes, especially when she asked him to stop communicating with the dead through recording tapes.

Had they communicated better, they might’ve discovered sooner something was terribly wrong. But their crumbling relationship makes the book more intriguing. The haunting is pretty straightforward, but the dynamics between the characters, and their best friends, another couple, Amanda and Simon, make it more intriguing.

There’s a huge twist toward the ending that was utterly terrifying, and which made the book stand out for me. I wish they would have focused more a little bit on the ending as it would have really added depth to the story. If you want a ghost story that offers great writing, original elements, and intriguing characters, you should definitely try this!

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