The Taint 
BBC 8th Doctor Novel
Michael Collier's previous book The Longest Day featured some good characters (especially the inspired Nashaad) and an interesting alien in the Kusk. With The Taint all we get is very confused indeed as a group of inadequately described loonies take over the asylum. It's very difficult to keep track of who is who early on and so at the end knowing who lived or died is impossible.

The idea of alien mind parasites is good i
f unoriginal, and the two robotic guardian-types are neat but their function in the novel is unclear. The new companion character Fitz remains something of an enigma although he does have some fine moments and some appealing defining characteristics.

There are some interesting concepts in The Taint, bu
t unfortunately the writing never manages to rise above the level of competent and the plot gets a little submerged under a surfeit of characters. It's a pity, especially after the excellence of The Janus Conjunction, Vanderdeken's Children and The Face-Eater. Overall, a disappointing novel. --David J Howe

A novel featuring the eighth Doctor Who and Sa
m, and Fitz Kreiner, a roguish dreamer from the 1960s. The Doctor and Sam become involved in the psychological experiments being performed by one Charles Roley, who is probing the psyches of people who believe they've been possessed by the devil.

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