AUDIO REVIEW: THE JACKPORT KILLER: A VIRULENT NOIR / AUTHOR: KNEEL DOWNE / PUBLISHER: DREAMCAGE MEDIA, SPOKENWORLD AUDIO / STARRING: GREG PATMORE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Released a few months back in paperback form, this story was the first of The Kurt Lobo Casefiles, a planned series of books based in indie author Kneel Downe’s VirulentBlurb universe. We’ve been following the author’s work for a while, and have been fully engrossed in the world of Detective Lobo, the WolfSpliced cop with a hard edge and sharp wit. So when the prospect of an audio book version of the story was mooted, you could count us in.
The story follows Lobo on a case tracking down the titular killer, who has been leaving some personal mocking statements at the scene of the crime. Lobo himself narrates the story in the form of a journal, and it’s this aspect that makes the audio version come into its own. Greg Patmore breathes life into the scruffy, gruff cop and embodies him with a unique presence and timber which is quite startling, and while not the Marlowe-esque voice we imagine when we read, it’s not too far away that we can’t picture him perfectly. As the story goes along, Patmore (or rather Lobo) also ‘plays’ the other characters, but totally in keeping with the tone of the work, almost as one would do when telling a friend about a conversation you’d had. This, along with the moody, but not obtrusive, music by Howard Carter makes it an absorbing and riveting listen.
Make no mistake; this is adult stuff, not only in the extreme language used, but in the use of style and genre. Close your eyes and you’ll be transported to the bizarre world of the Blurb, almost able to smell the rancid splices that occupy Downe’s world. The descriptions come alive in Lobo’s voice, and become as vivid as anything our imagination could possible concoct. Away from the printed page, the unusual language and terms that the story is made up from don’t seem as alien; this may well be the easiest ‘in’ to this domain yet.At just over two and a half hours, it’s by no means a mammoth listen, but it’s certainly not lightweight on entertainment. It’ll leave you wanting more