DNF at 63%
This is the sequel to The House of Silk. My review of it can be found here.
I’m starting this review off with a question that I had throughout all that I read. How did this get published? Seriously. How? This is classified as a Holmes pastiche. There was no Holmes. There was no Watson. There was even no Moriarty. There were just original characters and some minor characters from the Holmes stories.
Granted, I’ll give the publisher this: Horowitz is well-known and he’s a good writer. Just like I enjoyed The House of Silk for its writing being from the period, this is in the same vein. It’s also very unique since it’s all minor characters that are woven around the aftermath of Reichenbach Falls. It’s also intriguing since you sort of want to see how it turns out. Or, I did until I reached a point where I figured out I just didn’t care.
What frustrated me was the fact that Horowitz decided to call this a Holmes pastiche. Just make it an original story since the whole thing is carried by an original character and the one major character in this that was from the Holmes stories is so original and liberties were taken that it doesn’t even recognize him. Make it an original story. You can still keep a lot of the backstory of it, honestly.
Then, things just got ridiculous. Detective Jones (the only character that was major) just came off a tad too much for me. He felt unreal. I liked his character up until discovering his background. Sure, it made sense. But it just felt unreal to me and made me step away from the story. Then there’s the preposterousness of a character that was basically an American Moriarty and terrible representation of agoraphobia.
Really, I got to a point where I didn’t care anymore. I couldn’t name any characters and I had been jolted out of the story too many times to actually think about how off it felt that I wasn’t going to continue with it. Too bad since this is written very well.