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“He made some kind of deal in Montevideo…he got rich real quick after making that deal.  Usually you don’t get rich real quick, unless…”

“Unless it’s something shady.”

Maggie Evans returns to her honeymoon cabin to find Joe Haskell missing…and Finnegan Devlin, a dead ringer for Collinsport gadfly Burke…in his place.

And there’s a poison pen letter, suggesting Joe’s been kidnapped…

Who are those faceless suited men surrounding the cabin? And why does Devlin appear to know so much about them?

“Rumor had it they were mixed up with the occult…black magic. Macumba, as they say in Brazil.”

Trapped in the middle of a blizzard with a stranger who seems only too familiar and strange hostiles surrounding, can Maggie survive the night and reunite with her husband?

“It’s like you’ve never left…it’s never dull when you’re around.”

It’s good to hear Mitchell Ryan and Kathryn Leigh Scott together again after so long a remove. And for a guy in his mid 80’s (!), he delivers a pretty respectable performance as…let’s say the Burke analogue.

There are even a few bits where, belying any concerns of the passage of time in the “real world”, he sounds a hell of a lot more bouyant and vibrant than the casual reader might otherwise expect.  This is particularly evident around the Rorschach test sequence, where he really starts to perk up and slip back into the old role like putting on a familiar pair of shoes.  Again, it’s a pleasure to have a longtime favorite from the teleseries back in the cast.

For her part, Scott similarly seems more intense and youthful than she had in her last few audios, more of her old lively teleseries self than the tortured Collinsport matriarch she’s been cast as of late.

The Dark Shadows audios have long been known for their appropriately claustrophobic atmosphere and strong attention to character, but subjectively speaking, it feels like they’ve really upped their game since Bloodlust.

While the Cassandra Collins/Tony Peterson stories and a few one offs like House by the Sea and Beyond the Grave remain my all time favorites, there has been a more consistent quality in the line of late that is both greatly appreciated and something of a treat for listeners.

Well worth a listen, with hopes of further Mitchell Ryan appearances and more of Shadows standby Burke Devlin in the future.

After all,

“I found Joe long after I’d given up hope…you never know what could happen.”