THE CRAWLING TERROR (DOCTOR WHO)

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BOOK REVIEW: THE CRAWLING TERROR (DOCTOR WHO) / AUTHOR: MIKE TUCKER / PUBLISHER: BBC BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

Mike Tucker has written numerous books and audios for Doctor Who and is one of the first to write for the twelfth Doctor. The Crawling Terror contains many familiar ingredients such as stone circles, GM crops, mad scientists and an essentially English village. It is what Mike does with them that makes this book a pleasure to read.

The story is set in and around the village of Ringstone, whose inhabitants find themselves suddenly assaulted by a range of giant insects. Matters worsen as the Doctor and Clara arrive to find that sinister alien forces (aren’t they always!) are at work trying to repeating certain events from World War II.

The village of Ringstone gets its name from the local standing stone circle once bombed by the Nazis and now close to the new science laboratories on the edge of town. The Doctor has to identify just what is happening while Clara gets imprisoned and used as a pawn in a stand-off between a deranged scientist and the Doctor. If that wasn’t enough, the military are waiting nearby to resolve matters in the way they know best. There are several characters in the story, from the local vet, the village bobby, and the inquisitive schoolboy. These are not just there for the ride but also move the story along; they give the reader something familiar to hold on to as the giant insects wreak terror, and Mike Tucker does well not to dip too far into the horrific elements of this tale, but far enough to be unsettling.

The Crawling Terror packs in the action and enough elements for several stories, yet does this without becoming ridiculous. We also very much recognise the new, twelfth Doctor from the writing and his updated relationship with Clara. Overall this is an enjoyable book and is recommended.

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