I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Moriarty Series: Sherlock Holmes #2
on December 9th 2014
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The game is once again afoot in this thrilling mystery from the bestselling author of The House of Silk, sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate, which explores what really happened when Sherlock Holmes and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty tumbled to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls.
Internationally bestselling author Anthony Horowitz's nail-biting new novel plunges us back into the dark and complex world of detective Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty--dubbed the Napoleon of crime" by Holmes--in the aftermath of their fateful struggle at the Reichenbach Falls.
Days after the encounter at the Swiss waterfall, Pinkerton detective agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. Moriarty's death has left an immediate, poisonous vacuum in the criminal underworld, and there is no shortage of candidates to take his place--including one particularly fiendish criminal mastermind.
Chase and Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones, a devoted student of Holmes's methods of investigation and deduction originally introduced by Conan Doyle in "The Sign of Four," must forge a path through the darkest corners of England's capital--from the elegant squares of Mayfair to the shadowy wharfs and alleyways of the London Docks--in pursuit of this sinister figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, who is determined to stake his claim as Moriarty's successor.
A riveting, deeply atmospheric tale of murder and menace from the only writer to earn the seal of approval from Conan Doyle's estate, Moriarty breathes life into Holmes's dark and fascinating world.
Sherlock Holmes Series
“But the man had hereditary tendencies of the most diabolical kind. A criminal strain ran in his blood.”
Professor Moriarty is a criminal mastermind and nemesis of the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes. Moriarty brings to life occurrences following the disappearance of the duo after they vanished into the mist of Reichenbach Falls, Switzerland. Picking up the narrative of this story is Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase who has traveled to Europe intent on following the trail of an American criminal by the name of Clarence Devereux who supposedly intends on taking over Moriarty’s criminal activity now that he’s gone. When the trail leads Chase to Reichenbach Falls where Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard is investigating the incident, the two inevitably team up to assist one another.
Leaving Switzerland, Chase and Jones travel back to London intent on determining the identity of Devereux but shortly into their investigation, the brutality begins. Their first key witness is brutally murdered as well as his entire household with no apparent reasoning behind the extravagant violence. Unfortunately, this ends up being only a sneak peak as to what’s in store for the rest of their investigation. Dark and dangerous, the longer the search continues the more mysterious things begin to appear. The mystery felt very jerky and was missing a cohesive flow in comparison to Silk. The evidence that Jones would find which inevitably took them to the next location to search for more clues felt like they were being pulled out of thin air rather than when Holmes would discover evidence and would then rationalize how he came to that conclusion it always led to an a-ha! moment that lacked perfect sense once explained. Jones modeled his life and habits after Holmes and made a decent attempt at learning his tricks of the trade and while he might have transformed himself into a clever copy he was still highly identifiable as far from the real thing.
Watson played narrator in Silk and did a superb job, but in Moriarty, we’re given Frederick Chase and suffice it to say I definitely missed Watson. It’s easy enough to compare the two books (Silk definitely comes out on top) however, the two are so vastly different in several regards that it’s a disservice to do so. When comparing Moriarty to the original canon, it’s bound to disappoint, however, judging on its own merits it’s a fairly solid mystery with an incredibly shocking twist that makes you rethink everything that came before. I had my suspicions that all was not as it appeared, and I was right, but my guesses were still far from the truth.
It’s not necessary to enjoy this story even if you haven’t read all of the Holmes classics, however, I would definitely recommend you’re at least familiar with The Sign of the Four and especially the short story The Final Problem. Moriarty definitely felt less authentic as a pastiche than Silk did but for Holmes fans looking for anything to scratch that itch, this will satisfy it albeit temporarily.
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