“The Retreat” is probably an interesting horror/mystery story. It has a lot of the right elements: a child thought dead but who we know to be abducted, the dark dark woods in the dark dark valley in a dark dark Wales, a set of writers at a retreat, trying to write but finding themselves haunted and a main character with a tragic past (of course) who has just had a hit with a novel about a monster abducting and eating children.
I settled down for a few evenings of enjoying a creepy mystery in a warm room on dark cold nights and then found that the main impact of the book was to send me to sleep in my chair.
I attribute this mainly to the narrator, Simon Mattacks. Except when he is doing Welsh accents, at which he is quite adept, he narrates with a uniform cadence of the kind used by TV presenters on programs like “Escape To The Country”: blokish, wannabe-charming, inoffensive rhythms that always trigger a mix of distrust and disdain in me, awakening my inner-Northerner who then mutters “wimp” and “smug git” in my ears.
I returned the book to audible and got a refund. I may come back to “The Retreat” in ebook format but I won’t be listening to any more books narrated by Simon Mattacks.
Those without my prejudices may enjoy Simon Mattacks’ narration. Click on the SoundCloud link below to judge for yourself.