Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review: The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz

Book description:

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. Authorized by Doyle's estate.


This was very enjoyable and I thought the characters mostly did the originals justice but I took issues with two things.

First, Holmes’ escape from prison by disguising himself as someone else with just the aid of a wig and different clothes. I understand that it was supposed to be a testament to his ability to put on a completely different persona but I found it unbelievable that no one would have recognized him without at least some makeup on. Holmes’ may be a remarkable character capable of great feats but he can not change the features and structure of his face just through acting.

Secondly was Moriarty’s attempt to help break Holmes’ out of prison by giving Watson the key to his cell door. Once Watson got into the prison, it was clear that this plan never would have worked since there were more gates and doors to get passed than the one key would open. I find it difficult to believe that a mastermind like Moriarty would make such an ignorant mistake. The whole thing felt contrived just to feature Moriarty.

However, I can’t fault it too much - it was a very well written and complex story that kept me guessing while at the same time, I was pleased to discover at least one of my theories turned out to be right. I felt the writing was definitely in keeping with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s style, which is not surprising since it’s been endorsed by the Conan Doyle Estate.

This was my first book by this author and I thought it might be worth mentioning that this is an ADULT book. It seems the author’s previous work was mostly in the young adult/children genre so please don’t assume that this is also young adult just because it’s the same author.

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