Roots: There are numerous Biblical references. There are references to Ren and Stimpy, M. C. Escher, Volkswagens, Van Morrison, Marks and Spencer, Coca-Cola, Vaughan Williams, Delius, Françaix, Free, Bad Company, Cary Grant, Eisenhower, Porsches, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn.
Goofs: The arrival of Warlock is implied to be the Tunguska meteor, which contradicts Birthright.
Dialogue Disasters: "For some reason, torturing animals always seems to be part of the scientific method."
"Experiments on animals are absolutely necessary. As, sometimes, are experiments on human beings." Which might as well have "Bwa-ha-ha-ha!" added on to the end...
"Kill her baby. Then put her to work in the heavy S&M section."
"We prefer the term "clinical sacrifice"."
Dialogue Triumphs: "The dead don't have any problems. They don't have to make decisions. They don't need to weigh up good and bad and always find they've caused more bad than they'd expected in the end."
"Was there anyone here who wasn't an undercover cop?"
"Hopefully the guys you killed."
"How does he plan to kill me?"
"With body language, sir."
Continuity: Warlock is an alien intelligence that crashed on Earth in Russia at some point in the previous one hundred years; it merged with the spores of a fungus, producing an indigo and green mushroom. It developed hallucinogenic qualities - so it could act as a recreational drug, due to the intelligence's desire to use human minds to find a way to restore itself and return home. The CIA experimented on the fungus, used as a narcotic named Warlock, under the supervision of Henry Harrigan, who used it to transfer his mind into a younger body. He created IDEA to combat drugs, in order to keep them illegal for political reasons. Warlock smells like liquorice. It enhances psychic abilities, including precognition, making the mind of the user influence the exterior world. At several hundred times the usual dose, Warlock transplants Jack, Shell and Ace's minds into a dog and two cats. It uses Vincent's gift to turn its anger into energy, reuniting itself and being thrown into space by the power.
The Doctor leaves a note for Ace scribbled on the back of a Russian train ticket issued some time between the World Wars. In the Doctor's Kentish house, there is a scale model of the house and grounds on the sideboard in the Breakfast Room, which contains a surveillance system. The house has security cameras that can be viewed from the television set in the sitting room. A group of kids recently broke into the grounds, leaving used needles and graffiti in the fountain; Ace wanted to shoot at them with rock salt, but the Doctor persuaded them to leave by talking to them instead. A graffiti artist keeps changing the "L" in "Allen" on the Allen Road sign to an "I", and recently scrawled "Beware of the God" on the gates. The stables of the house were converted into a huge garage during the nineteen-twenties; the Doctor owns several cars, including a Mazda and a Mercedes, both with a vocal lock. There is a communications screen in the garage; when it breaks, the Doctor converts the television in the sitting room instead, using an antique M56 telefunken microphones and assorted cables and adaptors. The Doctor buys a copy of Serial Killers Weekly. He has a device for analysing Warlock, built partly out of Cybertechnology. He forges a letter of commendation for Benny from the sector chief of IDEA in Antwerp, using cold tea instead of ink. He is ambidextrous (see The Curse of Fenric). He rigs up a seemingly intelligent computer from old terminals, which is capable of breaking into the national police computer. It is implied that he provided Vincent with fake police records following the events of Cat's Cradle: Warhead), and also doctored Mrs. Woodcott's records to conceal her real name.
The Doctor has a cat named Chichester (or Chick for short), which is one of the kittens born to an injured wild cat found by the Doctor in one of the outbuildings of his house at Allen Road; he, Ace and Bernice decided to keep Chick, the first born of the litter. Chick has ginger fur and greenish-amber eyes. Pamela kills him with a lethal injection after he has been experimented on.
Ace owns a black silk kimono that is slightly too small. She drinks a gin and tonic with Jack. She later takes a coffee with milk and two sugars. She has eaten veal on numerous occasions. She is tied to a chair, catheterized, and given a dose of Warlock several times more powerful than the usual; it transfers her mind into the body of a black cat.
Bernice adopts the alias Miss Winterhill whilst working undercover on secondment to IDEA and the NYPD and pretending to be a drug dealer. Whilst at the drug deal, she takes Warlock, dissolved into the cava she drinks without her knowledge.
The Butler Institute once occupied the King Building (Cat's Cradle: Warhead).
Justine is pregnant with Vincent's child. Vincent's power channels the anger of a tramp, bringing a row of cherry trees into bud; and Raymond Bowman's, which immolates him and his wife and destroys Canterbury Cathedral. The Doctor places Jack's comatose body in the same life support tank in which Vincent was imprisoned (Cat's Cradle: Warhead).
Links: Cat's Cradle: Warhead.
Location: London; Canterbury, Kent; and New York; c2014.
Future History: The International Drug Enforcement Agency (IDEA) is a highly secretive organisation. Most records relating to the Butler Institute were destroyed in a fire. Vincent accidentally destroys Canterbury Cathedral here.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor, Ace and Bernice have been at the Doctor's house in Allen Road for nearly a year at the start of this story.
Q.v. Benny's Birthday, Love and War.
The Bottom Line: 'She was angry. She was always angry when someone tried to manipulate her emotions.' The prose is astonishing, and there are some genuinely good scenes, including the drug deal and Creed's confrontation with Paulie Keaton, but the anti-vivisection subplot is hysterically over-the-top, making the novel little more than a glorified PETA handbook.