I loved Tallis' The Sleep Room, and this is another scary story that straddles traditional supernatural horror and a more modern psychological probing. It takes elements from a hundred gothic stories - the old house with a history, a family under threat, sinister goings on centred on a child - and overlays them with some light social commentary, and subtle questions drawn from Lacanian theory.
I enjoyed the evocation of 1970s Hampstead: the ex-model who is reading Betty Friedan and Spare Rib, a fondue dinner party, discussions about modern music. At heart, though, is a scary story of menacing ghostly voices that appear on blank tapes.
This is a short, intense read, best gulped down in one or two sessions to keep the atmospheric feel. It's not quite as taut, in places, as The Sleep Room but remains a deliciously creepy story.
(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)