Killing Sound by Paul Southern Review
I received a copy of this book for an honest review.
Killing Sound by Paul Southern
Paperback: 317 pages
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Review by John Moralee
Killing Sound is Paul Southern’s third novel, his first for YA horror readers after writing two gritty books for adults. It mixes fringe science with the supernatural, delivering a creepy, disturbing story about a teenage girl called Jodie, whose parents died in a mysterious, gruesome science experiment when she was only five-years-old.
Twelve years later, Jodie remembers little about what happened to her parents, believing they died in a car accident, but when she finds some of her father’s scientific notes hidden in the attic of her family home, Jodie learns about her father’s experiments with infrasound, the sound hidden below the frequency of normal human hearing. Infrasound can’t be heard – but its ominous presence can be felt by sensitive people, like Jodie.
Soon Jodie starts having frightening dreams and disturbing hallucinations, forcing her to investigate her family history, slowly uncovering the truth about how her parents died.
Jodie’s helped by her boyfriend Luca and her friend Kamran – but her task is complicated by a nasty girl called Laura and her sinister gang of goths. They want to harm Jodie and Luca – putting their lives in danger.
Killing Sound begins with vivid horror and delivers a good, chilling atmosphere throughout, making the grim streets of London and the cold dark tunnels of the Underground come alive in the imagination. The details about infrasound and the London Underground are interesting and well-researched. I had read articles on the effects of infrasound before in The Fortean Times, but I had never read anything about tigers using infrasound as a weapon to stun their prey. Very interesting.
I would have liked to know more about the characters for greater empathy, but Paul Southern writes well and knows how to build suspense. The story reminded me of the classic 1957 horror film The Night of the Demon (US title: Curse of the Demon/The Haunted), as it built up the suspense. You know some bad things will happen – but when they do it is still a shock.
Killing Sound is a supernatural horror story worth reading if you like YA horror with a dark theme and a bleak urban setting.