Sarah Pinborough - Shastrix Books

Sarah Pinborough

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Long Time Dead

Long Time Dead

9th August 2011

The second book in the latest Torchwood trilogy, set shortly after the end of series three, is not as good as the first. This story is set in Cardiff, where local police and a mysterious military team from 'the Department' are working to clear the remains of the Torchwood Hub. What they've not banked on is a particular corpse in the morgue being not quite as dead as it used to be.

This is an interesting entry in the series in that none of the regulars play more than a cameo role, the focus instead being on a number of guest characters from both the TV series and earlier novels, though they aren't necessarily prerequisite to reading and understanding this one. The one real disappointment is that there isn't a little more focus on PC Andy, a character that I've always thought under-developed, but maybe he'll get his own story someday.

I read this book in about half a day, but can't say it particularly gripped me. Part of this was the aforementioned lack of the regulars, as the characters didn't really seem to have as much depth to them as they could have. The story does flow at a good pace and uses flashbacks well to fill in some of the backstory, but I just didn't quite find it as engaging as the previous book in this set, First Born.

Overall, I'm not sure I can recommend this to anyone but the big Torchwood fans - to the casual viewer/reader it might not make much sense (if you've forgotten the first series) and it genuinely doesn't seem like it ties in anywhere with the new television series 'Miracle Day'.

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Buy book: UK
Consequences

Consequences

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5th June 2010

This book made a refreshing change from the usual style of Torchwood books. Rather than one story, this contains five loosely connected short-stories, ranging from early 20th century Torchwood hunting baby snatchers to post-series two Torchwood battling drug-dealers, and the strange case of Nina Rogers.

Each of the stories is the perfect length - taking me around 20 minutes to read, just right for my daily commute. The spread through time is good too, as it means each tale can focus on different characters and the reader does not bore. The subtle way in which the stories are tied together is pleasing, and as you realise reading through, elements of these have been seeded in the earlier Torchwood novels.

The second story had a disappointing ending. I was hoping when I read it that that meant it was leaving issues to be resolved later on, but it didn't, rather just serving to tie into the next story. The structure of the fifth story was also a little strange, but once the end was reached it mostly made sense. One of the problems with the short format is that there is not much space for explanation. The origins of certain elements are not gone into in much depth, which does leave the reader wondering in places.

Overall though a pleasant change. It does seem as if this might be the last Torchwood novel, at least until series four (if it ever emerges), and it's a good way to round off the set on a high.

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Into the Silence

Into the Silence

16th August 2009

Into the Silence is the first book in the latest trio accompanying the BBC TV series, and is set between series two and three. The three remaining main characters are joined by a disgraced police office with previous Torchwood experience to investigate a number of brutal murders of singers across Cardiff.

While the idea is sound and the plot moves along at an interesting pace, not a lot is learnt about the main characters, with most of the characterization focussing on guests - presumably so as not to tread on the toes of the TV writers. The alien itself is satisfyingly creepy, but it's physical description makes it a tad too similar to every other torchwood bad guy.

While the plot does flow fairly well, there's a lot of backstory peppered throughout the novel that exists purely to set up the ending and which never interacts with the main plot on the way. As much as I often complains about confidences drawing people together in novels, this set up meant the ending was fairly predictable from quite early on.

Overall I found this to be a satisfying quick read, and I definitely think that the Torchwood novels are improving as the series progresses.

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Buy book: UK

Top books

  1. Consequences
  2. Long Time Dead
  3. Into the Silence