The novel “Night of the Intelligence” by Andy Frankham-Allen was published for the first time in 2017.
Professor Edward Travers wants to return to the Det-Sen Monastery in Tibet to try to completely free his mind from the Great Intelligence. During his journey, he meets a strange woman who turns out to be part of a plot to kidnap him.
Owain Wine went to Japan on a sort of pilgrimage to seek some peace of mind. There, he meets his old friend Simon, who tells him he’s in Japan for similar reasons, yet Owain feels there’s something strange in that meeting that, apparently, happened by chance.
For Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, both work and private life have become more complicated and the promotion to Brigadier General increased his duties. Managing secrets also means dealing with other government agencies but the relationship with the one commanded by General Gore seems particularly difficult.
The Lethbridge-Stewart series tells the adventures of the character who became famous in the “Doctor Who” TV show when he works without the Doctor. The stories start from the period immediately following the debut of Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in the TV show and then extend the period covered. These stories include some characters that appeared in the TV show, some invented for other productions connected to it, and others that were created specifically for these novels.
Initially, the books in this series told self-contained stories and the references were to the classic “Doctor Who” series. At the same time, some of the various novels and short stories started building a bigger story with Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart at the center digging heavily into his personal story. The consequence was that various stories started having references to previous ones and “Night of the Intelligence” is a kind of climax in the sense that the plot brings together characters and events from previous stories to give them a conclusion. It’s no coincidence that this novel was written by Andy Frankham-Allen, the main author of this series.
Despite the many events that take place in “Night of the Intelligence”, the actual action is relatively limited while this is probably the novel of the series with the greatest philosophical component. That’s because first of all the links with the classic serial “The Abominable Snowmen” remain strong, having Professor Edward Travers and the monk Thonmi who bring many references to Buddhism. Owain’s story also includes several references to reincarnation, although in this case the Hindu interpretation is included.
The result is a complex story that holds many surprises and revelations related to the protagonists’ personal stories and the previous novels in this series. That helps to keep the pace and the tension in the story.
Sometimes the plots had already gotten a little convoluted as the characters’ stories expanded, which also happens in “Night of the Intelligence”. This is inevitable, also due to the choices made in the first novels of the series. All in all, Andy Frankham-Allen did a good job of putting the various storylines together to bring them to a conclusion I found satisfying.
Due to its structure, “Night of the Intelligence” requires some attention to follow the various subplots and their intertwining. It contains information about the stories told in previous novels but it’s best to have already read them to fully understand them in their ramifications. For these reasons, it’s a novel I recommend to readers who have already enjoyed this series and the choice to dig into the protagonists’ personal life.