The Book of Temptation



Full Cast




Scott Handcock


Gary Russell


Joseph Fox

Sound Design

Joseph Fox

Cover Art

Stuart Manning


November 2006



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The Book of Temptation is an audiobook produced by Big Finish Productions. It was released in November 2006.

Publisher's summary Edit

Maggie Evans is paying a visit to the place she swore she would never return to... Collinwood.

When Maggie Evans finds herself drawn to the disused servants' wing of Collinwood, she becomes the target for a terrifying supernatural attack. What lies in wait in Collinwood’s abandoned wing? And can Quentin and Angelique contain the evil that has been unleashed?

Synopsis Edit

Part 1 Edit


Collinwood, a distant memory for those touched by its shadow. But as the Collins’ family returns to claim its birthright so does the curse that brands their kin forever. Soon the worlds of the living and the dead will be united in betrayal and despair.

Charlotte Howell writes in her journal:

April 16th, 1926. It's a year now since I first arrived in this town, and a year since I started my new life in the service of the Collins family. Daddy always said I shouldn’t have come here. "There nothing for you in that place but fish", he’d say, "and girl your no fisherman." He was wrong though, there’s more in this town than any man could imagine or fear. And it’s for this reason that I’m putting pen to paper. To exorcise the memories of this pathetic life from my souls such as it remains. Should any living person find this journal I urge you to leave Collinsport as swiftly as you are able. Take this book with you doubt the danger your in, and read of the terrors you have fled from. For I write these words as a warning to others that they may not endure the ordeals I myself have suffered during my time here as a humble maid. I cannot guarantee your safety, much as I cannot guarantee my own. But there is one thing I can promise, remain here in Collinwood and you reject any chance of salvation, for the heart of this house is black as those of its inhabitants and equally damned.

Opening Theme

In the present, Willie Loomis wakes after being bitten by Barnabas Collins. He finds himself at the Collinsport Inn being cared for by Maggie Evans, who attempts to calm him. He tries to warn her about Barnabas, urging her to leave town. Much to Maggie's surprise, Willie claims that he has to return to Collinwood and that HE wants him again. Maggie, determined to resolve Willie's fear, leaves after he falls back to sleep.

Back in 1926, Charlotte writes another entry in her journal:

I never wanted to return to this place, as I’m sure the family never wanted me to either but somehow the spirits of this town have driven me back here as if it was always meant to be. I know now that it wasn’t. And so, despite my best attempts to escape the Collins family and their horrific legacy, I find myself on the Collinwood estate once again. For what purpose I do not know, nor do I care. All I want now is to be free of this place and its obsessive residents before its too late. For me and you. Please don’t leave me.

Back in the present, Maggie pays a visit to Collinwood for the first time in a long time. Quentin Collins greets her, noting her uneasiness at being back at the mansion. Maggie talks to him about Willie, demanding to know what happened. Quentin refuses to divulge anything, which infuriates Maggie. The pair are interrupted by Angelique Bouchard. Angelique seems familiar to Maggie, but Angelique lies and claims they have never met. Quentin introduces Angelique as an associate of his from Martinique, who is managing the estate on his behalf. Angelique delights in telling Maggie that Quentin summoned her because he needed her. Quentin swiftly takes Angelique into the drawing room, berating her for nearly divulging the truth to Maggie. He reminds Angelique that she agreed to help him find the missing members of his family, and warns her to leave Maggie alone. Angelique remembers how Barnabas once cared for Maggie, and she determines not to let such a thing happen again.

Waiting in the Foyer, Maggie hears Charlotte's voice pleading for help.

Charlotte writes another entry in her journal:

It happened such a long time ago now. I had moved to Collinsport for the first time to make a living away from home, and the illustrious Collins family took me under their wing. They worked me hard yes, but they were kind unlike other families I had worked for. Then at the end of the day they would shut me away from public view as they did all their servants and then we were left alone in our quarters to see if we could survive another night in the house of despair.

Maggie follows Charlotte’s voice upstairs, venturing into one of the abandoned rooms. She discovers Charlotte's journal, and reads an entry:

April 16th, 1926. But for all the cruel things in this world and this town there is always hope to be found in the darkness. For shortly after beginning my new life here I myself found such a hope in the landscape and in a lover one Tobias Ormond. We met each other in the cellar of the Eagle one after noon, despite my squalid occupation he somehow took to me. He showed me generosity and affection, and more love than I had ever expected to become accustomed too. A love to shield me from the monsters that reside here, and even though it wasn’t my place to do so I loved him back. Truly I did. I couldn’t let him go if I wanted too. I could never let you go and yet I had to. Every night in my dreams I had to surrender my love of that man to this town, and its twisted rituals of hate. For a figure would appear in my thoughts as I slept stalking my dreams night after night and not once would he tell me of his purpose there only that he was waiting. Waiting for...

Barnabas enters startling Maggie causing her to cut her finger on the paper of the journal. He offers to take a look at it, noticing that it is a deep cut. Although Barnabas wears a new face, he seems familiar to Maggie. He introduces himself as another Collins relative named Barnabas. He laments his missing family members, feeling assured that they are safe and will return one day. He tells her about the legend of the widows’ wail.

Charlotte writes another entry in her journal:

And with no hope there is no life and so they hurled themselves from the cliffs onto the rocks below in the vain hope that such an act could reunite them with their loved ones in the next life. But instead their shattered remains were left for the elements to claim, whilst their souls became trapped on the wind, denied their freedom forever. And so their ranks swell, and with more lost souls the screams become louder and louder. Too loud for me to ignore. And now we all find ourselves sharing their destiny, no more living a life in the fear of darkness or death. No more life at all to live.

Escorting Maggie back downstairs, Barnabas chides Quentin for not letting him know they had a guest. Maggie, still clutching the journal, shows it to Quentin. She reads another entry aloud:

Even as I write, there is little rest from the persistent spirits of Collinwood. Worst of all are those phantoms that stalk Widows’ Hill. Soaking their town in their eternal scream. Like so many other in the past, they begged to me now to assist them in their plight. And each and every day I find it harder to resist their call. Those who join the widows’ ranks must surely haunt this mortal plane forever more. And yet no matter how hard I resist I shall one day be driven to death at their behest.

Quentin forces Maggie to stop as a sudden wailing of spirits begins to fill the room. He and Barnabas relaize the spirits were conjured up by the book; Quentin makes Maggie promise to never read from it again. The wailing intensifies. Barnabas tells Maggie to read the journal from the beginning of the April 26th entry, and, when she mentions the name Collins in the text, the wailing stops. Again Angelique interrupts, she and Quentin deduce that the book has become powerful after many years of different people reading the same words. Maggie is skeptical, Barnabas asks Maggie to trust them, trust him, she does but is not sure why.

Barnabas takes Quentin to the room where Maggie found the journal. Charlotte's voice calls out, begging to be left alone. She claims not to have written the book, only to have read it. That's how the book works.

Closing Theme

Part 2 Edit


A misty winter night and strange powers have once again awoken on the Collinwood estate. One girl disturbs accursed book pitting the Collins family against an unfathomable evil.

Barnabas and Quentin return to Angelique and Maggie. Quentin decides that drastic action is needed to rid the house of Charlotte's spirit. Angelique suggests using Maggie as bait. Barnabas objects, but Maggie reluctantly agrees.

Opening Theme

Returning to Charlotte's room, Barnabas and Maggie become separated from Quentin and Angelique. The fireplace roars into life, and the pair hear Charlotte reading from the journal:

...still don't know what to expect from this house, so many legends and memories occupy this place – each vying to be hear through the screams. Perhaps one day, I might be heard also. Perhaps if I scream loud enough...

A horrifying scream tempers Maggie frustration with Charlotte's presence, Barnabas pacifies her – they must only observe:

...the children of this town believe the Collinwood mansion to be haunted by the unspoken horrors of its own past – the adults know this to be true. And so the entire population of this town live in fear of the house on the hill. And I live within the house of fear.

Charlotte appears to the pair, who again claims not to have written the journal although both she and Maggie share a strange fascination with it. As Charlotte begins to explain the significance of the book her spirit frightens and vanishes. Barnabas and Maggie discover the journal is now blank. Words reappear, and Maggie is compelled to read, Charlottes voice joins in unison:

...and so I don’t know what to do anymore, for the forces of this place encourage me to do that which I would never ordinarily consider, and the more I contemplate the impossible, the more the fear that grips this house...

Sensing danger Barnabas forces Maggie to stop reading, dragging her from the room. Charlotte, alone with the other restless spirits in the room, assures them that Maggie will return to read the book to its conclusion and free them.

Quentin angrily shouts at Angelique, chiding himself for ever having trusted her. He is relieved when Maggie and Barnabas return unharmed. Angelique reveals the journal to be a trap, as the victim reads from it the words disappear from the page and ultimately captures the reader forever. She gloats: the same thing that happened to Charlotte will happen to Maggie – once the book is read the reader will be captured within its power forever. Angelique encourages Maggie to read further in order for the girl to understand the weight behind her words. Despite Angelique’s best efforts, Maggie refuses. Quentin promises to protect Maggie.

Quentin leads Maggie downstairs and, much to Maggie's horror, Quentin locks her in the basement in an attempt to keep her and the book separated.

Barnabas, Quentin and Angelique examine the journal and determine it to be centuries old. Charlotte never wrote in the book, she read from it and has been trapped within ever since. The maid from 1926 was just one in a long line of its many victims. In desperation, Quentin rips a page from the book enraging Charlotte and the other spirits. When he threatens to burn the journal, the spirits laugh at his futility as they will only restore it anew. Quentin and Barnabas decide to seal the book away in the old servants' wing of the house, whilst Angelique reluctantly agrees to keep Maggie safe.

As Quentin and Barnabas close the journal off in the servants' wing, Charlotte's spirit pleads with them not to abandon her. Meanwhile, Angelique frees Maggie and uses a potion hidden within a cup of tea to mesmerize Maggie, giving her an all important purpose: to get the book and discover how Charlotte became trapped inside in the hope it will end the curse that plagues them all.

Alone Maggie hears Charlotte's voice calling out, luring her toward the book she manages to break into the now sealed-off wing.

Closing Theme

Part 3 Edit


Terrifying forces lie in wait on the great estate of Collinwood. And as one woman will stop at nothing to escape her friends terrifying world, so another seeks admission back into her mortal realm.

The spirits howl as Maggie is drawn ever closer to the book. Barnabas and Quentin reach the girl, but it is clear she is possessed by Charlotte's will. Barnabas takes Maggie to safety while Quentin confronts Angelique. Maggie and Charlotte speak in unison – they shall be free.

Opening Theme

Maggie's mind clears, she and Barnabas share a tender moment together, they talk of the Collins family and the grip they hold over the inhabitants of Collinsport.

As Maggie attempts leave Collinwood, Charlotte and the other spirits continue to beg Maggie for her help. They tempt her into reading from the journal:

I cannot guarantee your safety, much as I cannot guarantee my own. But there is one thing I can promise, remain here in Collinwood and you reject any chance of salvation, for the heart of this house is black as those of its inhabitants and equally damned.

Angelique appears, slamming the book shut snapping Maggie from out of the trance. She instructs Maggie to return to the house and find Quentin. The witch confronts the vengeful spirits, complimenting them on their trap and wondering who was originally responsible. She reveals she has deliberately used Maggie in order to draw Charlotte and the other spirits out.

Back inside Collinwood, Quentin and Maggie share a glass brandy. She berates him for involving her again in the lives of the Collins family. Barnabas returns, having been searching for Maggie, he has realized that the journal's original owner has inflicted all this pain in order to satisfy her own bitterness. Charlotte’s pleads with them for help; she and the other trapped spirits are victims to the books power just as much as Maggie has been. The curse of the book will continue until someone with the correct parallels comes along. Maggie vows never to be a victim to it again. As a last act of desperation, Charlotte and the other spirits draw the quartet into the past, back to April 16th 1926, in an attempt to make them all part of the book. Angelique, however, takes the book and uses her powers to cleanse it in the fire. The spirits dissipate completely and Maggie collapses, and when she recovers she has no memory of recent events. She returns to the Inn to care for Willie.

Willie has recovered and, having repaired some of the Inn's broken shutters, determines to return to Collinwood and start restoring the estate to its former self. Maggie offers him a place to stay, but Willie's mind is made up. Meanwhile, Angelique rejoices triumphant over having cursed Maggie, her soul has been tainted by the book’s assocition – her curse will soon begin. Charlotte's spirit promises that Maggie will betray everyone, avenging her and the other trapped spirits.

Closing Theme

Memorable quotes Edit

  • Angelique Bouchard: "Collinwood is my territory; its residents are my playthings and, as such, I'd encourage you to play by my rules."

Dramatis personae Edit

Background information and notes Edit

Bloopers and continuity errors Edit

  • Strangely, for a resident of Collinsport and having lived in Collinwood, Maggie Evans claims to have never heard the legend of the Widows.

Official website Edit

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