For thrillers to succeed, they must keep the viewer in a state of suspense.
Death Toll, written by James Cameron does this in spades, with numerous twists and turns to the story.
Talking Scarlet is staging the play at Buxton Opera House this week in a production brinning with first-class acting, spooky noises and atmospheric lighting.
Tom Butcher and Corrinne Wicks dominate the action. He plays a work-obsessed playwright caught up in his next murder-mystery creation while she is fighting the demon of alcoholism and seeking comfort in a bit on the side.
Throw into the mix an actor arriving at their home in the wilds of Scotland and a policeman looking for a serial killer and the scene is set for an ingenious thriller which will baffle the shrewdest of detectives.
I won’t give the game away too much but there are stabbings and gunfire in a story in which only one of the characters stay true to original form.
The technical side is impressive as shadowy figures flit behind a glass-fronted door and doors and windows slam mysteriously.
It’s a cracking production and well worth a look. Death Toll runs at the Opera House until tomorrow (Saturday, August 13).
Talking Scarlet is staying on at Buxton Opera House to present the Gothic melodrama Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde next week.