vendredi 24 octobre 2014

Doctor Who: Silhouette by Justin Richards


"Vastra and Strax and Jenny? Oh no, we don't need to bother them. Trust me."

Marlowe Hapworth is found dead in his locked study, killed by an unknown assailant. This is a case for the Great Detective, Madame Vastra.

Rick Bellamy, bare-knuckle boxer, has the life drawn out of him by a figure dressed as an undertaker. This angers Strax the Sontaran.

The Carnival of Curiosities, a collection of bizarre and fascinating sideshows and performers. This is where Jenny Flint looks for answers.

How are these things connected? And what does Orestes Milton, rich industrialist, have to do with it all? This is where the Doctor and Clara come in. The Doctor and his friends find themselves thrust into a world where nothing and no one are what they seem. Can they unravel the truth before the most dangerous weapon ever developed is unleashed on London?

When people start vanishing in the Carnival of Curiosities, a sideshow in London’s Winter Fair, Madame Vastra, her wife Jenny and the Sontaran Strax begin to investigate. As they look for connections between the disappearances, the Doctor and Clara arrive, drawn here by a strange energy reading. In the Carnival, though, no one is who or what they seem. And a mysterious industrialist is hiding in the background, threatening the entire world with a deadly weapon...

Silhouette is the second book in the New Adventures dealing with Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. I read – and enjoyed – the first, The Crawling Terror, last month. In that review, I mentioned that Mike Tucker had done a fantastic job of capturing the Doctor and Clara’s voices – you could hear the actors speaking the lines throughout. In Silhouette, unfortunately, I did not feel that Justin Richards managed the same feat. What he did manage, though, was to perfectly capture the voices of the Paternoster Gang. Already fan favourites, the three members of Madame Vastra’s gang stand centre stage in Silhouette – all three of them have important roles to play here, each of them with their own storylines. Considering how much fun these characters are, that is all to the good. The story itself works well, with some nice nods back to prior cannon (the Shadow Proclamation makes an appearance), and the threat is pure Doctor Who. If Capaldi’s Doctor and Coleman’s Clara had been more true to their character’s voices, Silhouette would have been almost perfect. As it is, this could almost have been a spin-off novel, involving only the Paternoster Gang, and it would have worked just as well.

I gave Doctor Who: Silhouette 3 stars.

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