Brilliance Audio. Mar. 2023. 10:55 hrs. ISBN 9781799789888. $42.99. HORROR
“I had to do it. She was contagious.” Narrator David de Vries sets an ominous scene as psychoanalyst Silas describes the case file for a brutal murder. Leaving both killer and corpse unidentified, narrator Sophie Amoss takes the reins for the bulk of the narrative as listeners are transported to the early days of a pandemic when Grace’s mother, Jackie, requests to shelter in place with her. Though Jackie has a history of treating Grace in disturbing, even abusive ways, Grace is struggling to make ends meet and desperate enough to give in. Jackie’s presence, however, brings back troubling memories that morph into unsettling dreams. As her grip on reality becomes tenuous, Grace wonders if her mother’s gaslighting is taking a sinister turn. Stage (Baby Teeth) crafts an intricate blend of psychological suspense and horror. Amoss gives an emotive and engaging performance, expertly portraying Grace’s tension and terror. Though de Vries features only in the prologue and epilogue, his placid, professional voice is an unnerving juxtaposition to Amoss’s anxiety.
VERDICT This audio will appeal to listeners seeking a dark, dizzying domestic thriller steeped in menace and mistrust. Recommended for fans of Gillian Flynn, Ashley Audrain, and Riley Sager.
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