The new season of Sherlock has FINALLLLLLLLY been given an air date (praise all that is holy) and I am excited. So excited, in fact, that I decided to review a Sherlock novel.
Well, I’m SORT of reviewing a Sherlock novel. As you can see, Moriarty was written by Anthony Horowitz, who is clearly not Arthur Conan Doyle (though Doyle’s estate has approved this book). Also, and I hope this isn’t too much of a spoiler, Sherlock Holmes is not actually in this novel.
But what? you say. How can this be a Sherlock novel without Sherlock? Who is this Horowitz fellow? What madness is this?
Allow me to explain. Anthony Horowitz is the fellow who penned Foyle’s War for ITV (he also wrote the Midsomer Murders). He’s clever enough, Mr Horowitz, to have convinced the Doyle estates to sanction both The House of Silk and Moriarty — the only author ever to have done so, in fact.
Moriarty is set immediately following the unfortunate events that take place at the Reichenbach Falls because, with James Moriarty dead, there is a power struggle taking place in London — who will take his place and rule the criminal world?
Our narrator, who calls himself Frederick Chase, is a Pinkerton detective who comes from America chasing Clarence Devereaux, one of the men who would fill Moriarty’s shoes. At the Reinchenbach Falls, he meets Scotland Yard’s Athelney Jones, who has an interest both in determining that Moriarty is indeed dead, and making sure that Chase’s target doesn’t carry on in Moriarty’s wake.
This novel is properly atmospheric and incredibly clever, and Chase and Jones make an excellent team as they work out the details of the actual identity of Devereaux and attempt to bring him to justice. The question of who will be responsible for the execution of that justice — Chase or Jones — is not entirely clear until the very last, when — in classic Holmes fashion — the details and clues are all revealed.
This book is incredibly entertaining. I have not yet read The House of Silk and now I am looking forward to doing so (I’m also going to revisit the original novels, because I’ve not read them in years). If you like drama, if you like Sherlock, if you like twisty turny plots — you should get this novel.
The game is afoot!