In Entertainment on Sunday 23rd Jan, 2022

This thriller audiobook by Louis Nowra will have you hooked with its secrets, lies, a murder trial, and sex scandals.

Jan 23, 2022
This brand new audio-drama only available on Audible, included in the Plus Catalogue. Image: Audible

By Kerry Heaney

Beatrice Dark is a riveting tale from well-known author, playwright and screenwriter, Louis Nowra. As one of Australia’s leading playwrights, his skill certainly shows in this brand new audio-drama only available on Audible, included in the Plus Catalogue. The Plus Catalogue includes a selection of thousands of Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts that you can listen to all you want, included in membership.

Set in the 1930s as the world prepares for World War II, the drama starts when a newspaper leaks the steamy contents of a cabinet minister’s private love letter. From there, the downward spiral is dramatic when Beatrice Dark, the wife of a powerful cabinet minister shoots her husband’s enemy who is the editor of the tabloid. There are so many sticky fingers and sinister types involved in this tale that you’ll be in for quite the ride as you follow along.

Nowra’s clever script in Beatrice Dark unfolds in 12 beautifully written episodes narrated by a multi-cast, each around 30 minutes long. Listening to each episode almost feels like you are watching a thriller TV show! It’s seriously entertaining and you really get hooked on all the action. This engrossing audio drama is an Audible Original, included in the Plus Catalogue which you can access for free as part of your 30-day free trial.

Seriously entertaining

Definitely binge-worthy, the series is written as a radio play and presented as a podcast, making it easy but addictive listening. The haunting trumpet refrain that introduces each episode reminds me of the lead into a Perry Mason television show.  It’s like a step back into the heady days when everyone gathered around the radio set to listen to the latest spine-tingling installment.

The level of intrigue and deadly secrets that need to be explored and exposed in Beatrice Dark is captivating. You can take a break after each 30-minute segment, if you can, and save the next one for another day.  However, I got so caught up in the story I found it hard to stop listening!

I also loved the five different character voices, which really brought the script to life and the sound effects that immerse you in the story. The musical score is an extra bonus and makes it highly entertaining.

The gossip column

It’s true that what happens behind the scenes at a newspaper office can be even more interesting than what is printed, as this podcast reveals.  Behind those closed office doors are some extraordinary double lives, and the reporters and photographers generate enthralling complications to the plotline. Are they as objective in their writing as they are supposed to be, or is it all just a personal vendetta?

Vintage feel

Nowra has created detailed and totally believable conversations between his characters. You’ll learn about how their social lives worked, the fashions women wore and how servants survived in this upstairs-downstairs world. There’s a wonderfully atmospheric, vintage feel packed into each episode with loads of period style.  The level of detail Nowra includes adds immensely to this gripping drama and lets your imagination run wild as you play out the scenes in your head.

Who really killed the editor?

The killer’s name seems obvious in the first few episodes, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security about their motives. Like every good movie, they are profoundly twisted, and some of the character’s actions will really surprise you!

No spoilers here though, you’ll have to listen to Beatrice Dark for yourself to get all the answers.

So where does the truth lie?

The deeper you get into this series, the more questions you’ll have over who really killed the editor and why.  It’s a grim and steamy tale with its unfolding secrets, lies, sex scandals and plenty of twists and turns that will keep you listening to the flamboyant end!

Why listen to Audible?

This Audible Original is a very slick, high-quality production. The actors bring each character vibrantly to life and make it all seem very real. It’s one of the best dramatizations I’ve listened to for a long time. I devoured this series of episodes over just a few days because I was so eager to find out what happens next. I can’t wait for Nowra’s next masterpiece.

Beatrice Dark is included in Audible’s Plus Catalogue, available with your Audible membership at no extra cost. Sign up for a 30-day free trial at audible.com.au, where you can enjoy any audiobook of your choice and access to the Plus Catalogue, including a selection of thousands of Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.

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What do you like about the thriller genre?

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