Mostly entertaining, but Moriarty left this Sherlock fan disappointed. 3.5/5 stars.
The blurb: Sherlock Holmes is dead.
Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind who has risen to take his place.
Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction, Frederick Chase must forge a path through the darkest corners of the capital to shine light on this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace.
I enjoyed the first of Anthony Horowitz’s new Sherlock Holmes stories – The House of Silk – back in February. And, for the most part, I really enjoyed Moriarty, which is the second book he’s written with the permission of the Conan Doyle estate.
Almost as good as the original. 4/5 stars.
The blurb: In freezing London, November 1890, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson receive a man unnerved by a scarred-face stalker with piercing eyes. A conspiracy reaches to the Boston criminal underworld. The whispered phrase ‘the House of Silk’ hints at a deadly foe.
If you enjoy Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes adventures then it’s likely you will enjoy this book. Anthony Horowitz does an admirable job mimicking the style of the original tales for this new Holmes-Watson adventure. However, this mimicry extends to the perhaps less enjoyable aspects of Conan Doyle’s style. For example, characters are allowed to sit down and give three-page long monologues to explain their predicament. If that sort of thing bothered you in the original stories – which are usually only a few pages long – then you might not be able to stick with it over the 300 pages of The House of Silk.
The mystery at the heart of The House of Silk is sufficiently complex to keep you puzzled. Its resolution is also far darker than we might have come to expect from Holmes’ stories. Watson warns us of this in the prologue, but I was still surprised by just how grim the big secret turned out to be. Apart from a couple of moments which dragged slightly, the pacing is excellent and our heroes face enough peril to keep you turning the pages.
Overall: an entertaining mystery in the company of one of my favourite fictional duos. I already have the sequel waiting!