Classic Doctor Who (First and Second Doctor's mainly) didn't just used to be about alien planets and invasions of Earth. The Doctor and his companions would find themselves back in Earth's history, exploring key events. The Roundheads is one of those historical novels, starring the 2nd Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie and set in the back drop of the English Civil War. I'll be honest and say that most historical Doctor Who episdoes bore me, I just don't find them interesting, and given they are few and far between once Jon Pertwee took on the role, I can't see that I am the only one. Sadly The Roundheads did very little to change my view. The first 100 odd pages were a struggle to say the least, but once Mark Gatiss got the plot in place it wasn't a bad story.
My issues didn't end there though, a lot of the characters actions just didn't make sense. The Doctor and Jamie are imprisoned as spies, yet they get let out on a whim. Richard Cromwell finds a book which tells the future, yet does nothing with it. Sal Winter trusts Ben totally after one boozy night in Amsterdam. I could go on. The Roundheads also suffers from some lazy writing techniques and plot devices. Why does the Doctor need a book about the English Civil Wars? He hasn't before and he hasn't since. You may be able to overlook it if the book had a purpose but that story line just fizzled out. Nearly all the characters are stereotypical, there are two which aren't but the rest you never feel anything for.
The Roundheads isn't a bad book by any means, once you get through the beginning the rest is actually a fairly interesting story. it also does stick pretty closely to the historical stories of it's era so if you like that sort of thing then it would be your kind of book. Sadly I didn't find much to get excited about.