The Men Who Sold the World
By Guy Adams
Prequel to Miracle Day
Published by BBC Books
Reviewed by D J Forrest
A CIA Special Activities Division squad goes rogue with a cargo marked ‘Torchwood’ that they’ve been escorting from somewhere called Cardiff. A very special shipment the UK’s new coalition government was suspiciously keen to offload at almost any price.
The Agency puts Rex Matheson on the case. But someone is obstructing him at every turn – each time he seems to be catching up with the rogue unit, something puts him off the trail.
From start to finish, The Men Who Sold the World had me gripped, I was turning pages like I was searching for the clues to the Holy Grail. Every page I was hungry to read more, and at one point I was curious as to why I hadn’t seen or heard mention of Jack Harkness or Gwen Cooper, but interested to know why Rex was in a Torchwood novel when ideally we didn’t see him until Miracle Day.
I had read that some people were disappointed with this novel, because often the element of a Torchwood novel is to actually have some mention of the team. But there is a mention, a brief portion here and there, and it involves an artefact, a gun but not just any gun. It’s alien in origin and it has a way of controlling the user. I wondered if it had anything to do with the gun used in Consequences, infact I did think that at one point, but for the further description, that changed my mind.
We’re talking of gun running and mercenaries and Rex Matheson and an old man called Mr Wynter who seems to have a role similar to Harvey Keitel’s Victor which is how I pictured him.
This is a prequel obviously to Miracle Day and it gives a further insight into the CIA or at best the often gruff exterior of Rex Matheson, and you find you can’t help but like him. Esther also features in her usual role as Watch Analyst and again this is before the treachery of the CIA and the Miracle.
What I liked about this book was that it read like the many American stories I’ve read involving government agencies or gun runners, and I could picture every scene, the houses, the streets, the people, the sarcastic wit of Rex, Schaeffer. I’ve read a number of American novels over the years and this felt no different, the only thing I had to keep reminding myself of, was that this was a Torchwood novel.
But if you remember at the beginning of Miracle Day, Esther was researching about the Institute, and Esther was working with Rex, the gun that is at the centre of this story came from a crate marked ‘Torchwood’...
Now that I’ve reviewed it I want to read it again!