The Many Hands
By DJ Forrest
Written by Dale Smith
Published in 2010
By BBC Books
A 10th Doctor and Martha story
There’s nothing scarier than reading a horror story about zombies and dismembered body parts late at night, in a room where the radiator breaks the silence with gurgling sounds usually only reserved for people with a dodgy belly.
Dale Smith’s story reminds me a lot of a Mary Shelley novel, and to an extent, it pretty much is, but with a Who twist, that kicks off from the very first chapter, with the 10th Doctor riding on the roof of a runaway stagecoach, doing battle with a zombie. It’s all very exciting and one I couldn’t put down till I’d at least found a ‘save place’, to close for the night.
I’ve an idea that Dale knows his way around Edinburgh, or at best, knows someone else who does. I’m keen to explore much of the olde Edinburgh streets in order to locate at least some of the places mentioned. He gives the place such a vibrant, yet Dickens appeal all in one chapter, from modern day to 1700s, when the story begins.
Edinburgh is steeped in history, and a bloody one at that, so finding out about a loch that was filled full of creepy creatures that could walk under the water, well, of course, I’m going to think twice before I ever push a small row boat out in any loch from now on.
The hands themselves reminded me of many a B movie horror flick, and I’m sure you could think of a few, including perhaps The Addams Family, where a dismembered hand scuttles across the floor. They do say, many hands make light work, although I’m not sure if that also means in ‘monster’ terms.
The Many Hands involve the Monro family, and although there were a few times I had to flip back to see what year the story started from, and which Monro we were reading about, this story never dipped once. I positively loved it. I may even keep this book on my shelf, purely for the nostalgic trip around Ye Olde Edinburgh.