The fourth and final title in Candy Jar Books’ final series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels is almost here

 

Intelligence Taskforce is written by Jonathan Blum, his second Lethbridge-Stewart novel, but by no means his first foray into Doctor Who fiction. During the 1990s he penned several Doctor Who novels with his partner, Kate Orman, for BBC Books. These included fan favourites Vampire Science and Seeing I. Meanwhile, he also wrote the seminal Big Finish audio, The Fearmonger.

 

The concluding part of the adventure begun in United Nations, Intelligence Taskforce is a suitably epic finale for the series

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says: “There is two ways to look at this book; it’s either a sequel, or it’s the second part of one novel. I’m inclined to think of it as the latter, since it was initially only planned as one novel.”

Jonathan Blum says: “When I first pitched my story to Andy, it was just one book – Andy said I could go a bit longer than usual because it was the grand finale. Then I submitted it, and he said, ‘okay, not quite that long…’

“I’d already cut out a bunch of bits from my outline, because I knew I was running long, but the submitted draft was about 90,000 words, where most of the Lethbridge-Stewart books were around 70,000. In passing I said ‘you know, there’s these subplots in the original outline that I left out. We could put them back in and make it two 60,000 word books…’

“In my defence, I did have COVID at the time! Don’t try this at home, folks – usually you’ll be laughed at. But luckily, this helped Andy with his schedule, so he said ‘make it two 70,000 word books and you’re on’. But that meant I still had to come up with even more new material! The story split neatly in half – book one became ‘what’s going on and who’s behind it’, while book two was ‘how do we stop them, and how far are they planning to go’. If you look at the books as basically an old-style Doctor Who four-parter, the expansion was in parts two and three!”

 

The novel both ends the Lethbridge-Stewart series, and sets up UNIT. But it also includes a couple of other very important scenarios

Jonathan continues: “For me, the defining note of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is that he’s such a conventional, upright figure – and yet he has to deal with so much interplanetary barking insanity. And as we know from the TV show, he allies himself with some weird people. His life is fundamentally strange, but he stays so normal – what does that mean about him? How can he actually do that? There’s a possible answer in here, and it’s not one the Brigadier would like…

“In the books he and Anne have this great personal history with the Great Intelligence and their family, this chaos lurking under the surface of their orderly lives, and they’re both going to have to face that. And for a representative of The System, he spends an awful lot of time skirting the rules; he only really seems conventional and rigid when he’s standing next to the Doctor! Here, in order to get UNIT as we know it off the ground, he’s going to have to both rebuild the system from within, and work outside it. And, without intending to, burn some crucial old bridges…”

The cover is once again provided by Adrian Salmon. He says; “It was quite a technical exercise this one! My intention was to make the ‘coins’ be knocked back colour-wise to suggest movement as against solidity, and I think it works!”

 

 

Lethbridge-Stewart; Intelligence Taskforce. Cover by Adrian Salmon (c) Candy Jar Books Doctor Who UNIT. A Scot's Guard insignia badge flips over to show a UNIT insignia on the other side. Behind the Brig stands dramatically in front of the UN building in New York, while someone scales one of the Twin Towers
Lethbridge-Stewart; Intelligence Taskforce. Cover by Adrian Salmon (c) Candy Jar Books

Lethbridge-Stewart: Intelligence Taskforce

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is in disgrace. And alone.

As the inquiry into his recent actions closes in, he takes personal leave, and heads

to the United States to hunt answers. The conspiracy he’s been uncovering stretches to the highest levels, involving people with the ability to manipulate probability and random chance, who could skew the fate of the entire world. But what for?

From the UN building to the Pentagon, the streets of Harlem to the shores of Barbados, Lethbridge-Stewart has to leave behind his secure position and build a new team of international allies. What they establish could bring the world together to face alien threats… or their different agendas could tear everything down.

They locate the man behind the conspiracy. But is there someone – or something – behind even him?

 

A coda to the series, The Lost Son by Tim Gambrell, will be released later in the year. If you have a subscription with Candy Jar Books, Intelligence Taskforce is covered by this. You can order Intelligence Taskforce directly from Candy Jar Books.

 

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