Trace Memory was the fifth release in the BBC Torchwood Novels series.
Tiger Bay, Cardiff, 1953. A mysterious crate is brought into the docks on a Scandinavian cargo ship. Its destination: the Torchwood Institute. As the crate is offloaded by a group of local dockers, it explodes, killing all but one of them, a young Butetown lad called Michael Bellini.
Fifty-five years later, a radioactive source somewhere inside the Hub leads Torchwood to discover the same Michael Bellini, still young and dressed in his 1950s clothes, cowering in the vaults. They soon realise that each has encountered Michael before — as a child in Osaka, as a junior doctor, as a young police constable, as a new recruit to Torchwood One. But it's Jack who remembers him best of all.
Michael's involuntary time-travelling has something to do with a radiation-charged relic held inside the crate. And the Men in Bowler Hats are coming to get it back.
Featuring Captain Jack Harkness as played by John Barrowman, with Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato and Ianto Jones as played by Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoki Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd, in the hit series created by Russell T Davies for BBC Television.
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- This book is also available as an ebook from the Amazon Kindle store.
- In separate flashback chapters, Gwen Cooper meets Andy Davidson for the first time and Ianto Jones is at Torchwood One with Lisa Hallett.
- Three past members of Torchwood are introduced in this novel: Lucy, Charles Cromwell and Kenneth Valentine.
- Reference is made to the Sky Gypsy from TV: Out of Time, The Torchwood Estate in 1879 (TV: Tooth and Claw), the fairies of Roundstone Woods (TV: Small Worlds) and Albion Hospital in 1941 (TV: The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances).
- The events of TV: The Curse of Fenric, TV: To the Last Man and TV: The Unquiet Dead are also referenced by Hugo Faulkner.
- The Quantum transducer is mentioned. (TV: Ghost Machine)
- Jack and Michael hide out in Shangri-La hotel, formerly Shangri-La holiday camp. (TV: Delta and the Bannermen)
- Ianto states that the air mattress Michael sleeps on is one of the few items not trashed from their camping trip. (TV: Countrycide)
- Yvonne Hartman is mentioned in Ianto's flashback. (TV: Army of Ghosts / Doomsday)