This is pablocheesecake’s take on What They Hear in the Dark, posted at The Eloquent Page review blog:
Rob and Becky bought the old place after the death of their son, to repair and renovate – to patch things up and make the building habitable.
They both knew that they were trying to fix more than the house, but the cracks in their marriage could not be papered over.
Then they found the Quiet Room.
Written by Gary McMahon What They Hear in the Dark is an intimate tale about love and loss. Rob and Becky have suffered a terrible tragedy and are trying to put the past behind them and continue with their lives. They have a new home, and hope to make a new start. It quickly becomes evident, however, that neither of them has been able to move on. When the story begins Becky and Rob have reached the stage where they are barely able to communicate with one another. The spirit of their murdered son seems to hang in the periphery of their lives. The story takes a turn when they discover a strange windowless room in their new house that is utterly quiet. Becky and Rob have very different perspectives of the Quiet Room. Becky is reassured, feels at peace and closer to the spirit of her lost child. Rob, on the other hand, is repulsed. He is trapped by the memory of the teens responsible for his son’s death.
The author’s writing reminded me of when I first read Clive Barker.What They Hear in the Dark could easily be an entry in The Books of Blood. Though the story is short there is a wealth of insight into the couple’s relationship. There are brief glimpses of Rob and Becky in happier times and this makes their current situation that much more tragic. McMahon handles what is very delicate subject matter with aplomb, and I was thoroughly engrossed by Becky and Rob’s story.
Kudos must also go to Spectral Press for their first release, and I look forward to the next.