How is it fair to criticize the man who single-handedly resurrected a dead T.V classic and reinvented it as one of the leading dramas of the 21st Century? It isn't, hence 4 stars rather than 3.
Russell.T.Davies has produced what seemed at first to be a classic 'New Adventure' for Doctor Who. The TARDIS crew arrive on Earth in the late nineteen-eighties and are immediately embroiled in the nefarious world of crack cocaine and gangland terror. Davies initially recreates the superbly sleazy world of night-time homosexual encounters and queer-bashing; illicit drug deals; violent criminals and seedy council estates of Thatcher's Britain; with the spectre of AIDS hanging over the whole lot like some underfed, deadly vulture. The novel is consequently extremely violent in places and as such is a departure from the normal (fairly cosy) world of the Virgin New Adventures.
The real flaw comes halfway through the story when it degenerates into self-referential Doctor Who cliche. Lots of guff about the 'N-Frame', Timelord history and dark secrets, spoil what is mainly a fine foray into the connections between human emotion and otherworldly occurences. Still better than at least half of its predecessors, this appears to have been a slightly missed opportunity.