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Book Review

Book Cover

Risk Assessment (Hardback)


Author: James Goss
BBC Books
RRP: £6.99, US $11.99
ISBN: 978 1 846 07783 8
Available 01 October 2009

Agnes Havisham is awake, and Jack is worried (and not a little afraid). The Torchwood assessor is roused from her sleep in only the worst of times - It's happened just four times in the last 100 years. Can the situation really be so bad. Someone, Somewhere, is fighting a war, and they're losing badly. The coffins of the dead are coming through the Rift. With thousands of alien bodies floating in the Bristol Channel, it's down to Torchwood to round them all up before a lethal plague breaks out. And now they'll have to do it by the book. The 1901 edition...

Risk Assessment is probably the best Torchwood novel I've read to date - in fact it's about as near to perfection as you could hope for. This book has everything - an alien invasion or two, Jack out of his depth and Rhys playing a big part in saving the planet - but for me the most interesting element was the introduction of Agnes Havisham, the Victorian assessor who has the power to close down Torchwood the second she thinks that the organisation is failing in its duties.

Throughout this book we get flashbacks to Jack and Agnes's previous meetings and finally discover why there is an underlying tension between the two. There's also a couple of neat twists that even the most seasoned Torchwood fan probably won't see coming.

James Goss weaves a fine collection of tales together to produce a book that is much, much more than a cheap cash-in for a popular TV series. Even if you're not a Torchwood fan I'm sure you'll love this.


Darren Rea

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