Torchwood: Long Time Dead Paperback – 4 Aug 2011
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Excavations of the old Torchwood Institute are under way, but the body of Suzie Costello is nowhere to be found - a Torchwood: Miracle Day prequel
From the Back Cover
'Now, with her mind and memory unlocked, it was as if she
could truly see it. The awfulness inside. The pain that waited.
The horror that lived there. It was coming.
The screaming of millions.'
Cardiff Bay. The government has ordered the excavation of
the wreckage of a secret underground base. DCI Tom Cutler
is watching from a distance, fascinated by the process. There
are people in his dreams. People he feels he should know.
The disbanded Torchwood Institute spent a century
accumulating non-terrestrial artefacts and catching aliens.
Who knows what - or who - might still be intact down there.
But by the time they find the first body, Suzie Costello is
Based on the hit series created by Russell T Davies, Long Time Dead is a prequel to
starring John Barrowman and Eve Myles as Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper. It features
Suzie Costello, as played by Indira Varma, and Andy Davidson, as played by Tom Price.
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Top customer reviews
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'.
This fills in all sorts of gaps, and whats more its really well written, very engaging and satisfyingly gory! This is definately up there with "almost perfect" as the best torchwood book, and its one i suspect will get read again and again. Brill!
Long Time Dead sees the very welcome return of Suzie Costello to the Torchwood world, and it's not long before this revived bad girl is being very bad indeed... The last time we saw her, it looked as though Suzie had finally been killed off for good. However, despite having blown a sizeable hole through her own head, she'd already previously come back from the dead. Indeed, Torchwood creator Russell T Davies had apparently planned to resurrect her occasionally, however this was scuppered when Indira Varma became pregnant prior to the filming of the second series. Now that she's been seemingly regenerated in Long Time Dead, Suzie appears intent on adding as many people as she can to her previously deceased state...
However, following the destruction of the Hub at the end of Children of Earth, its wreckage is being extensively searched by the Department in their quest for any useful or dangerous alien technology that they can find. (In a nice tie-in with Miracle Day, one box of alien artefacts from the wreckage is labelled under the name of "Colasanto", and there's also a subtle reference to David Jones, Jo Grant's beau from the classic Doctor Who adventure The Green Death amidst plenty of other Torchwood nostalgia). Once the bodies start piling up, the police inevitably get involved, allowing for a few nice cameos by a certain Andy Davidson. (In Long Time Dead, Andy suspects that his sudden promotion to sergeant may well have been down to the events he witnessed during Children of Earth, rather than due to his own inherent talent at police work.) As a sergeant though, Andy's too junior to lead the police investigation, so this burden falls upon the troubled shoulders of DCI Tom Cutler.
The police are perplexed, as along with Suzie's seemingly motiveless murderous spree, there are also a bout of suicides in Cardiff involving people that have no recent history of mental trauma. It turns out that something dark and truly fearful has escaped from the rift...
Like Bill Pulman's character in Miracle Day, Oswald Danes, Suzie Costello starts out as a very unsympathetic character. However, such is Sarah Pinborough's skill as a novelist, and her sublime characterisation and plotting, that you'll be really rooting for Suzie at the end of Long Time Dead. Indeed, Long Time Dead is a lot better than many TV Torchwood adventures, so it would be great if Sarah Pinborough were ever given the opportunity to write for the small screen.
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