Audio Review 66 // The Bookkeepers Skull by Justin D.Hill

This title is pretty new for me, lol. After enjoying Justin D.Hill's Necromunda title, I knew I had to get more from him. And when I saw this horror-themed title pop up on audible, I knew I had found my next listen. The image looks sinister and foreboding, and I am definitely excited to hear it.

Title: The Bookkeeper's Skull (Warhammer Horror)

Author: Justin D. Hill

Fluff: Follow in the footsteps of Rudgard Howe, an enforcer cadet who, while on their first mission and embroiled in an embittered succession battle back home, uncovers a heinous sanguinary cult…

On the capital world of Potence, young enforcer cadet Rudgard Howe is caught up in a bitter internecine feud to inherit his father's position of Chief Enforcer. As the tithe fleets approach, he is sent on his first mission to ensure that the planet's distant agri-facilities fulfil their quotas to the God-Emperor. Farmed with serfs and managed by ex-Militarum soldiers, the agri-facilities are places of shocking brutality and hopelessness. But when he is sent to the outlying farmstead of Thorsarbour, Rudgard discovers a community where the crops are left to rot as the inhabitants indulge in the bloody ecstasy of a sanguinary cult. As Rudgard imposes the strict Lex Imperialis upon the farmstead, he begins to uncover a place where sanity is rapidly slipping. Just a single step into his nightmarish mission, though, a series of cruel deaths threatens to dismantle everything he has ever known about the Imperium, his faith in the Emperor, and the strength of his very soul.

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At just under 5 hours long, we are treated to a quick, hard-hitting, dread-inducing story. The title character is the heir to the Chief Enforcers role (aka Police Chief). Still, to accept this, he must first travel the outer settlements and deliver Judgement over the criminal (sounds like a Judge Dredd story, right?). Soon the tour is coming to a close, but at the last moment, a new stop is added, Thorsarbour.

Thorsarbour is as far away as possible, and we travel there with the characters, you start to feel the atmosphere build. The township is at a fever pitch with serfs following a mysterious cult leader, who you can't help but feel is the villain. As the story progress, your brain jumps from cultist murders to rampaging creatures all the way to witches and demons. And I loved being left to guess what it was.

No space was wasted in this tale, with every chapter squeezing more and more info into the story and building a world that seemed exciting and scary. The characters are interesting and believable, and you are left worried about who may survive this encounter. Also, the mention of Valgaast was intriguing as it is the city where the House of Night and Chain was set by David Annabelle. It seems like this may be the link between the 40k horror series, something similar to Arkham in the Lovecraft lore. 

Overall a fantastic tale and well worth the listen. I can only assume the book is even better. Seriously please go treat yourself!

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