January 26th, 2014

tardis

Afterlife, by Matt Fitton

An audio that will really appeal to those who are already fans of the Big Finish storyline with Hex, which appeared to have come to an end back in 2012. The first episode is practically a two-hander between Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, which for me is one of the best examinations of both the Doctor as manipulator and Ace's natural resentment of that; then we move into what appears at first to be an alternate timeline where Hex's life worked out very differently, with the true state of affairs only gradually becoming apparent. Amy Pemberton, who played Sally Morgan in several previous Seventh Doctor plays, also joins the crowd. It's an excellent twist to the end of Hex's story, and might even be lucid enough for fans who aren't already familiar with it to enjoy.
earthsea

January Books 13) The Saint Zita Society, by Ruth Rendell

I think the only other Rendell I've read is Thirteen Steps Down, which has a similar setting in the socially fragmented London of the Noughties; The Saint Zita Society features at its core those who work for the rich in one particular exclusive street, mostly immigrants from various parts of Europe and the Commonwealth. A rich white man kills his wife's black lover, perhaps accidentally, and though only the au pair knows about it, the secret tears apart the social microcosm of the street's inhabitants (again, it's a crime novel rather than a mystery novel - we can see that first death coming from miles away, and the interest is in seeing how everyone copes, or fails to). There is a gratuitous psychopath, who I found a bit of a distraction in plot terms, but otherwise it is well done and well observed.