Warchild

Roots: Cujo. There are references to Fiat, Audi, Mercedes, Mustang, the Grateful Dead, Hitler, Mussolini, Einstein, Dave Brubeck, the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, Kleenex, Jung, Chomsky, Lewis Carroll, Rasputin, Charles Manson, Fortean Times, Hieronymous Bosch, and the Marie Celeste.

Dialogue Triumphs: "Well, pappy. I just think you should make up your mind whether you're being xenophobic or homophobic", "Mr Leemark, you're not fit to raise cotton", and the rest of Pangbourne's withering conversation with Francis Leemark.

Continuity: Creed now works for the Agency, reporting to Washington DC. Following the events of Warlock, Creed and Justine have had two daughters named Eve and Cynthia; Creed also raises Ricky, Vincent's son, as his own. Ricky is fifteen years old here. Ricky has the ability to control the emotions of those around him, effectively acting as an alpha male. Vincent has adopted the alias Retour and is secretly working for the Agency in order to get close to Ricky. Vincent lost his "gift" when he and Justine split up. He wants to use Ricky and his abilities to gain control of America. Amy Cowan shoots Vincent dead to save Creed's family.

Whilst in the body of the dog, Jack learns how to control other dogs; he retains some of this ability once restored to his own body. The Doctor uses a booster dose of Warlock to compliment that still within Jack's body to restore the man's mind to its rightful place.

There are apple trees in the garden of the Doctor's house at Allen Road. The library contains an old Apple Mac computer, a billiard table, a silk Biedermyer soda, two floral armchairs, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the suspended animation cylinder with Jack's body in it. There is a long rubber hose in the cellar that was originally part of the sprinkler system. The Doctor keeps a small electric pump in the garage. There is a huge septic tank beneath the grounds.

The Doctor provides Armagnac and smoked Bavarian ham for Jack when he wakes up. He has an air-gun loaded with anaesthetic darts. He keeps Warlock in an enameled gold box embossed with Cyrillic script.

Faced with the problem of being on an aeroplane about to crash, Benny orders a bottle of champagne. She buys garlic and paprika in Budapest. She drinks brandy and soda.

Roz drops her gun in a river in Budapest. Mrs Woodcott press-gangs her at Heathrow into joining a group to stop the wild dog packs attacking London under Jack's leadership. She chooses a Styer AUG with bayonet whilst dealing with the dogs.

Chris likes red wine. He goes undercover as a Buddhist monk teaching Comparative Anthropology at Ricky's school, for which he is required to shave his head and a saffron robe and black slippers; whilst in this guise he refers to himself as the "Young Master". He drinks orange juice at Justine's house. Vincent knocks him out with a blow to the head.

Links: Cat's Cradle: Warhead, Warlock.

Location: London and Kent, England; America, August [c2030].

Future History: Alzheimer's therapy is available by circa 2030. Agricultural products are checked for plant viruses at customs.

The Agency is a top-secret paramilitary organisation with a branch in London, but which is based in Washington.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor, Benny, Chris and Roz have been on Earth for some time prior to this story; Benny and Roz are flying back from Budapest to Heathrow at the start of the novel.

The Bottom Line: Beautifully written, Warchild focuses on Cartmel's recurring characters at the expense of the regulars, but is so absorbing that it doesn't really matter. A very satisfying end to the "War" trilogy.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke
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