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August 3rd, 2019

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The Showstoppers, by Jonathan Cooper

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Perhaps he’d have time this afternoon to devote some thought to it, though it was already approaching 11am and the stacks of paperwork Corporal Wright had sent over, accompanied by a sweet yet scathing note detailing the dangers of not returning them promptly, had not even been depleted by a fraction. Lethbridge-Stewart sighed. He didn’t expect the duties of a colonel to be wholly blood and thunder, but he hadn’t expected the rot of bureaucracy to set in quite so quickly either.
Sixth book in the Candy Jar Lethbridge-Stewart sequence, second of the second series, this sees the future Brigadier, Ann Travers and journalist Harold Chorley investigating a mysterious TV spy show in which almost all the characters are played by the same actor, who is also the show-runner - the concept of Dr Strangelove, but taken to a new extreme. I had not come across the author before, though he's written a couple of Space: 1889 books. It's very nicely done - a novel that is a spinoff from a TV series whose hero changes faces from time to time, about a TV series which features an actor of many faces; Cooper balances the absurdity of the set-up nicely with the tension of how-the-heck-will-they-get-out-of-this. There are a couple of lovely moments of fan-service, but nothing too intrusive. A new (and black) regular character is introduced to the Lethbridge-Stewart universe. Basically, I am enjoying this series. You can get this one here.

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