Who killed Laura Palmer? That was the question on everyone’s lips in the early 1990s when the face of television storytelling changed. Eccentric film-maker David Lynch joined forces with Mark Frost to create a quirky murder mystery series like nothing seen before. To this day, modern storytelling tries to emulate its eccentricities, wit and beauty.
Centring around the FBI investigation into the murder of high school beauty Laura Palmer, the series dove deep into the heart of the seemingly quiet Washington state town of Twin Peaks, where closed doors hid secrets that ranged from drug running to the supernatural. Peppered with oddball characters and dark secrets, the lives of the town’s residents peeled back to reveal that nothing and no one was as it seemed.
In the final episode, the ghost of Laura Palmer promised to “see you again in 25 years” and, while that deadline has passed, the series is being revived in 2017 to peak back into the town and all its mysteries. In the lead up to the highly anticipated new series, Mark Frost takes us back to the very beginning of the town in his new book, The Secret History of Twin Peaks, beginning with the early explorers and taking the reader through to the shocking events that closed the original series.
Audiobook lovers get an added bonus with a massive cast of readers that combine original actors with several from the upcoming revival. Kyle MacLachlan (Dale Cooper), Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Lawrence Jacoby), Michael Horse (Deputy Hawk), Chris Mulkey (Hank Jennings) and David Patrick Kelly (Jerry Horne) join forces with new cast members Amy Shiels, James Morrison and Robert Knepper. Other readers include Annie Wersching, Len Cariou, Mat Hostetler, Mark Frost, Arthur Bishop and Ari Fliakos.
Their readings add extra life to this fan-focused fiction that moves from the town’s establishment to native and UFO mythology and, ultimately, the unknown history of many of the original television characters. We find out how Margaret (the “Log Lady”) came to be the way she is; we learn the mystery behind Nadine’s breakdown; and the surprising criminal history of Josie Packard amongst other histories.
Running just under 10 hours, The Secret History of Twin Peaks is an exciting new glimpse into the mystery town and its inhabitants. Newcomers to the world of Twin Peaks may find the deeper history focusses a little too much on UFO mythology but will undoubtedly love the fascinating introductions to the characters, many who they will meet in 2017 when they revive their roles for the new series.
It’s easy to dismiss a book tie-in as nothing more than a piece of fan fiction but, as with the television show itself, Mark Frost has imagined a world rich in imagination and presents it as historical fact. The excellent and large cast in the audiobook makes one wonder why anyone would bother reading the book instead of immersing themselves in so many voices from the past that no doubt still haunt their memories.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 9
Released by: Macmillian Digital Audio and available through audible.com.au
Release date: October 2016