Genre: Detective lit, retelling
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes is dead. After the events which happened at the Reichenbach Falls, Frederick Chase, an American detective travels to Europe in order to investigate a string of crimes involving Professor James Moriarty. In America, a new villain is on the rise–Clarence Devereux–and he and Moriarty just might know each other. Now, in Europe, he meets Athelney Jones, a self-proclaimed student of Holmes’. With his help, Frederick might just be able to find out what Devereux is up to, and exactly just what happened to James Moriarty…
Review: This book made me so angry. And that’s a good thing, given that it’s a detective story. I was lulled into a false sense of security by this book, and I knew thanks to reading other reviews that there was going to be a huge twist. I think I had about 10 different ideas of what could possibly be the twist. I was wrong on all accounts. I don’t know, maybe somebody smarter than me would have found it to be obvious, but DANG. I had to walk away from the book for a solid half hour.
The plot and the clues were so incredibly well thought out. As you can tell from my previous paragraph, I had no clue what the twist was. Horowitz executed it perfectly. I also absolutely enjoyed the inclusion of Athelney Jones, who is actually a character from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes! Of course, we all know that Sherlock Holmes is fictional, but inserting Athelney into his work made this story fit right in to Doyle’s own work.
What I also really enjoyed was Clarence Devereux. Devereux is a character who, like Moriarty, remains in the shadows, covered in a fog of rumors and crimes. Horowitz does an excellent job of creating a character without us ever seeing him (that is, until we do see him).
Ultimately, Horowitz does such a fantastic job of foreshadowing that the twist will shock you like there’s no tomorrow. This book kept me on the edge of my seat. And, in all honesty, I finished this book probably a week or two I wrote this review–so it’s worth it to note that I still think about how betrayed I felt whilst reading it. But don’t worry, the betrayal is worth it, in the end.