Long Time Dead
By DJ Forrest
Written by Sarah Pinborough
BBC Books 2011
‘Tell Suzie I’m coming for her.’
Long Time Dead is one of the three newer novels in the Torchwood series. It’s after Children of Earth and before Miracle Day. After Gwen Cooper and husband go into hiding, and Captain Jack Harkness disappears. It tells the story of Death so you expect it to be dark and depressing and soul sucking. If you’re one of the many people who are of the mind-set that you’d really rather not read about the darkness and the eternal sleep, then this perhaps isn’t your kind of book. But this is Torchwood, when all is said and done, this was always what they were about, what they were always seeking knowledge of.
‘What’s it like, to die, what did you see?’ Wasn’t that the question Captain Jack asked in the first episode of the first series?
As with the three novels in this series, they tend to focus on mainly one or two familiar characters. First Born being about Gwen and Rhys, The Men Who Sold the World involving Rex Matheson, and although it’s strange not seeing the team in action, they’re never forgotten; which when you read Long Time Dead, which involves Suzie Costello, there are regular intervals where the Torchwood Three names are mentioned, bitterly or regretfully, and past cases come to mind. I’m still to discover one of the cases which I’m certain was an audio drama or story, involving opera singers.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I love the way certain writers write and Sarah Pinborough is no exception. I enjoy reading her Torchwood stories, I still as yet haven’t managed to read beyond Torchwood – but I’m working on that. I always look at styles of writing and I find her work easy to read, although always bordering towards the darkness, but as I say, I’ve not read any of her other work and this may be something Sarah writes extremely well in.
There are many characters who you warm to in this novel and some you completely dislike, but for all the reasons to hate Suzie Costello, you can’t help but like her. There were moments within the novel where I also wondered why one particular character didn’t mention his knowledge of Torchwood, but then I suppose, at that time, it was more of a taboo subject, given what happened to the base and the team, perhaps disassociating yourself from them, kept you safe!
This is Suzie Costello at her very best, and it’s well worth a read, so long as you can get past the whole Death side of things and treat it like any other Sci fi novel, you’ll enjoy the story.