John Saul’s “In The Dark of Night” Review

The audio version I listen to this week.. 4 to 5 stars. This one is very good, after reading my first John Saul novel “Black Lightening”.   This is much less blood splattered than Black Lightening, and much better.  Black Lightening was so bloody that I lost interest after the first gore…it gets too…old.   It loses it’s credibility.

But THIS one.. “In the Dark of Night”.. is MUCH better, couldn’t stop listening.  I love the way Mr. Saul’s Audio company did this, and James Lee Burke should take heed.   The Narrator is Mel FOSTER. He reads well,  at the right pace, and pronounces the words clearly.  There are little bits of spooky music, which fits well, because this is a extremely spooky story. This is more like, suspenseful, with tension building.

It is not until the halfway point that the plot is fully revealed.  I will NOT talk much about the plot of this book, except to say that it is about a family that goes on summer vacation in a big house on a lake in Wisconsin.  It has been sitting for years, and no one will move into it.   This is all I will say,  I hate reviews that give things away.

Suffice to say, it turns into a mystery, and a terrifying one.  The book keeps you interested, and Saul builds the plot, builds the mystery and tension, and it’s good.  It isn’t a roller coaster bloodbath from the get go…this boring.  This book very good and I am eager to listen to more of Mr. Saul’s books, which is a compliment, because I tire quickly, I have so many to choose from.

This book has credibility.  That’s important for me, at least for suspense and horror.  Some stories have so much blood and guts as to be unbelievable, then of course the killer comes after the hero of the story.  “Dark of Night’s”  action moves along quickly, and it is not only the horrifying events, but the little details and sub plots, sub action of the story, keep you listening.

Good Narrators make a audiobook good.   Just compare James Lee Burke’s novels narrated by Will Patton to the ones narrated by Mark Hamer.

The little touches are great, such as the sound effects when someone is talking on the telephone.  I think that David Purdham is the greatest narrator going.  Mr. Foster is good though, very good. Mel Foster’s tonality, diction, and emotional inflection are very good, very enjoyable to listen to.  He is in a class with David Purdham.

Team Yankee, by Harold Coyle has a great narrator, but I can’t find his name, even on the net!  He’s a well known actor, and boy he was great for that book.  The importance of great narration is overlooked.

Joseph Campanella, who does some of Dale Brown’s books, is surprisingly a BAD narrator.  He sounds silly on that story.

Mr. Foster has done both of the books that I listened to by John Saul, and he sounds great.. great job.


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