Once Upon a Haunted Moor by Harper Fox
Narrated by Tim Gilbert
Length: 2 hrs and 57 mins
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.
Buy links: Audible
My Two Pennies Worth
This audiobook is book #1 in the Tyack & Frayne series. I look at my original review for the ebook and I find words like mysterious, evocative, creepy. And I have to say, they probably apply even more to the audio production.
Once Upon a Haunted Moor is set in a small Cornish village with Bodmin Moor as its backyard. A child has gone missing up on the moor and the local bobby, Gideon Frayne has had no luck in locating her. In an effort to try a new tack, a psychic, Lee Tyack has been called in to attempt to use his particular skills. At first this rubs Gideon up the wrong way, but mostly that is from a desire to protect the girl’s family from a charlatan and guilt at not finding her himself. But they soon find a way to work together, and more.
Gideon is a solid character, not easily spooked, and reliable. He’s been hiding in the closet, despite having been in a serious relationship previously, although it may have been a closet made of glass for all the good it did hiding the true nature of their relationship from the villagers.
Lee is a psychic, but he has other jobs, because finding lost children, or bodies, doesn’t pay the bills (because he doesn’t charge for those type of services). Lee is a good man, honest and not the type to give false hope. He’s also a man worth coming out of the closet for and Gideon does so in quite spectacular fashion (for him). Their romance progresses over a very short space of time but never once feels like instalove. At the end of the novella their relationship feels strong, a good basis to start something from, and if you never listened to another book in the series it is a solid place to end. But why would you, when there are so many more excellent stories to be told.
The narrator does an excellent job, imbuing the tale with an edge of mystery and the unknown. The MCs in particular have distinctively different voices and the accents convey those of really Cornish people that I’ve met.
All in all an excellent start to the series and I look forward to revisiting Tinsel Fish soon.