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Eternity Weeps

By Jim Mortimore

Book review by Paul Scoones

Mortimore's latest New Adventure is a mixed bag. It departs from the norm by presenting the story in the first person, from the point of view of two of the participants, Bernice Summerfield and Jason Kane. Each chapter signals a switch in narrator, and the first person perspective offers a harrowing immediacy to what turns into a somewhat traumatic adventure even by Virgin's standards.

The novel is well written yet frankly depressing. The marriage of Bernice and Jason, as recounted in Happy Endings, has soured, and this novel tells the painful story of its dissolution. A former companion of the Doctor makes a cameo appearance, and then dies in the most graphic and grisly fashion possible. A considerable chunk of the Earth's population is wiped out by a virulent contagion. There are gun battles aplenty, with almost all of the characters getting shot before the book's even half over. When Bernice says 'just think of me as Bruce Willis in Die Hard', I couldn't help but think that the author was letting slip one of his major sources of inspiration.

This is not cheerful, uplifting stuff, but the strength of Mortimore's prose kept me enthralled when the adventure descended into a hopelessly morbid experience. The initial chapters, recounting the trials and tribulations of two rival archaeological expeditions in Turkey, are vividly descriptive and hook the reader into the adventure. Then everything starts to go horribly wrong. The book's weakness is in its final few chapters. It is here that the plot became difficult to follow and a little rushed.

The Doctor's involvement in the book is amazingly slight, perhaps deliberately paving the way for the soon to commence Doctor-less New Adventures. With a little re-working, this book could just conceivably have been one of them.

This item appeared in TSV 51 (June 1997).

Index nodes: Eternity Weeps