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VINE VOICEon 10 October 2006
The premise of this book involves a subterranean race who travel to the surface, killing the people of London of the 1950s. It struck me, on seeing the cover and given that the first Time Hunter book is a variation on 1984, that this must be a variation on the Time Machine, and expected the Morlocks and the Eloi. But I was wrong.

In this story Honore Le Chasseur, an ex-GI turned spiv, is getting used to being a time sensitive and the fact that his friend Emily is a "time channeler" which allows them both to travel in time. He is then hired by a man called Randolph Crest, a poet who believes he is being persecuted by a nameless enemy. Enter the subterranean race.

What follows is an unravelling of the facts of the situation, marrying detective and science fiction. Who is Crest? What is his link to the subterraneans? What are they trying to achieve? Why are they killing people? Will Honore accept his new status?

It's a well-paced, fast moving narrative, that makes good use of the locale and time period in the best crime fiction manner whilst blending in science fiction concepts. It reminds me of Quatermass, Doctor Who and that peculiar brand of science fantasy that used to be a staple of British telly. It's also quite fun, playing on the mysteries of Emily's identity and featuring a character from Daniel O'mahoney's Cabinet of Light, although you don't really need to have read that book to understand the character here.

There is a mild dissatisfaction in that the origins of the subterraneans is never broached, but that's the only weakness. Otherwise you get a good pulp adventure story.
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