Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. American Public Radio reporter Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown?”
The first podcast to really grip me was Serial. The systematic search for answers and exploration of how things went wrong was fascinating to listen to. And it didn’t hurt that Sarah Koenig was such a talented reporter.
Apparently I wasn’t alone in enjoying Serial, since it stole the iTunes #1 Podcast spot for several weeks, won a Peabody Award, and has been picked up by HBO for a docuseries airing next year.
Limetown felt similar. So similar, that there were brief moments I thought I was listening to another non-fiction podcast. And it took the audio drama world by storm in 2015, also holding the #1 Podcast spot on iTunes and also being picked up for a film adaptation.
On to the story.
More than 300 people disappeared from a small neuroscience research facility in Tennessee. A decade later, the world has all but forgotten them.
Lia Haddock has not. She’s an investigative reporter with American Public Radio and is personally connected to the story. Her uncle was one of the people who disappeared, and she’s determined to unearth the truth about Limetown. When she makes contact with a woman claiming to be one of the survivors of Limetown—the first to have ever come forward—Lia is quickly in over her head with people willing to go to extreme lengths to protect their secrets.
Limetown is more of a suspenseful mystery than a horror story. Be that as it may, I found myself overcome with the urge to turn on extra lights and check behind the shower curtain while listening. You know, just in case. There’s a pervading sense of unease throughout the story, and it remains just grounded enough in reality that it can make you jump in fear when you get too complacent.
Each of the six episodes typically had a brief, 1-2 minute audio clip that added something extra to the story. Sometimes this was a 911 call, sometimes it could be some new piece of information that led to Lia’s next interview. They helped break up the main story and added to the overall “realism” of the show.
The voice acting and sound effects were incredible. I’d actually believe the show was a recording from a real reporter based on the audio quality. The original soundtrack was catchy and memorable, and once or twice a song would be included at the end of the show that was mentioned in the story. This added to Limetown’s stellar atmosphere.
And the writing is incredible. There’s never a wasted moment and the amount of emotion conveyed in each scene is staggering. This is an audio drama that aspiring podcasters take notes from.
At six episodes long, Limetown is a fairly short audio drama. The first season is arguably self-contained and stands on its own, though it ends with enormous potential for a second season. For those of you considering trying Limetown for the first time, you’re in luck! The second season will begin in time for Halloween this year.
Limetown is a free audio drama. You can learn more at the official Limetown website or listen to the first episode right now: