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Book Review

Book Cover

Into the Silence (Hardback)


Author: Sarah Pinborough
BBC Books
RRP: £6.99, US $11.99
ISBN: 978 1 846 07753 1
Available 04 June 2009

The body in the church hall is very definitely dead. It has been sliced open with surgical precision, its organs exposed, and its vocal cords are gone. It is as if they were never there or they've been dissolved... With the Welsh Amateur Operatic Contest getting under way, music is filling the churches and concert halls of Cardiff. The competition has attracted the finest Welsh talent to the city, but it has also drawn something else - there are stories of a metallic creature hiding in the shadows. Torchwood are on its tail, but it's moving too fast for them to track it down. This new threat requires a new tactic - so Ianto Jones is joining a male voice choir...

Into the Silence is a pretty enjoyable book set in the Torchwood universe. The story follows Jack, Gwen and Ianto as they try to get to the bottom of a strange string of murders. To outsiders, it looks as though a grisly serial killer is on the loose who seems to be targeting singers. In reality a being from another universe is coming to Earth and ripping out the vocal chords of singers. But why? Does it hate the noise? Want to possess it? Or is it simply a coincidence that all of the dead are singers - after all there is a large contingency in Cardiff for the annual Welsh Amateur Operatic Contest.

This book also sees the introduction of Detective Inspector Cutler, who manages to get himself wound up in the mystery, and with Torchwood, and he really has no idea what he's letting himself in for.

My biggest gripe with this release is the amount of padding included. While it's obvious the main story is paper thin, surely something else could have been injected rather than focusing a little more on the victims before they died. It's not essential that we get to know something about them and, especially in the case of the ex-pro singer, they are a little cliched. Personally, I'd have preferred it if the writer had concentrated on Torchwood's investigations a little more and totally ignored the segments with the singers.

The ending too was a little too convenient. It's not that anyone solved anything really, just that the alien was in the right place at the right time (even if this was down to Torchwood's actions allowing it to accidentally focus in on this location). What was a neat touch was the way Jack had no problems with letting a dead, innocent man get the blame for everything. This, I felt, made the whole thing more believable - after all the truth could hardly come out could it?

Torchwood fans will find this an enjoyable enough read, but if you're not a fan of the series there's probably not enough meat here to keep you engrossed.


Pete Boomer

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