Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Moriarty Review Highly Recommended

Are you a fan of Sherlock Holmes?  What about all the pastiches out there? I've read & own several. Laurie R. King's Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes is well written but I can't imagine Holmes married, regardless of the circumstances. So, while I read a few and enjoyed the writing & stories it was impossible to get past that personal bias. 
Moriarty, on the other hand,  I can readily & highly recommend to fans. The twist at the end is stunning. Kudos, Mr. Horowitz. I'm on board for the future books while The House Of Silk has been added to the top of my mountain.

Athelney Jones is an assiduous student of Holmes’ methods, monographs, and chronicles as relayed by the faithful Dr. John Watson. Jones is at Reichenbach Falls shortly after the tragic accident that has apparently taken the lives of Holmes and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty. Here he meets Frederick Chase, a Pinkerton agent in pursuit of the ruthless American criminal mastermind, Clarence Devereux. Devereux brings a level of violence and cruelty to his takeover of Moriarty’s gang never imagined or seen in Britain.

Jones and Chase join forces to find the elusive Devereux and end the bloodshed.

It’s apparent why Mr. Horowitz has the endorsement of the A. Conan Doyle estate. MORIARTY strongly evokes the atmosphere of the Victorian era and Conan Doyles’ Holmes. MORIARTY neither tries to be nor compete with the iconic consulting detective but complements him and his adventures. Minor characters re-introduced as major players, referencing the stories as events in the recent past, and having a room full of Scotland Yard Inspectors discuss Holmes and his successes inventively highlight Holmes while passing the stage over to Jones and Chase.

Athelney Jones is an interesting protagonist chock full of admirable qualities. None of his encounters with Holmes showed him in a positive light but they inspired his desire to improve his detecting abilities. It’s easy to identify with Jones.

Frederick Chase, a Pinkerton agent, is a bit of a duck out of water. He badly needs the assistance and entree Jones can provide. He defers to Jones in many instances while contributing when and how he can.

Jones and Chase form an alliance of necessity that occasionally veers toward an unlikely budding friendship with an eye to potential partnership.

Gritty, briskly paced, and hard to put down MORIARTY hurtles the reader to its startling conclusion. Undeniably one of the best historical mysteries I’ve read this year.

4.5 stars

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