Rating: 5 Stars
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.
Well, consider me bamboozled. I’m going to try very hard to keep this review spoiler free – I wouldn’t spoil the plot of this for anything.
Reading the synopsis for this after reading The House of Silk puzzled me, I hadn’t expected for Horowitz to shift the focus from Holmes and Watson so thoroughly – more fool me. By the end of this book I could see all the hints and clues he has left in the first book. There’s one line in particular towards the end where I nearly smacked myself in the forehead with the realisation. I will have to go back to the beginning and read both books again, I’d like to read all the original stories too. Here Horowitz is playing a game of his own, amongst the ruins of Holmes’ world in the wake of Reichenbach and he is playing it with a great deal of skill.
I’m intrigued to see where Horowitz might go with these ‘insert novels’ next – I’d love a novel about Beatrice’s adventures as a Lady Detective.