Sunday, 22nd July 2018
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Author Anthny Horowitz: Published by Orion Books : Price e17.47

Now out of copywright for his characters Arthur Conan Doyle's books are able to be written using his most famous characters by almost anyone.

This particular novel though featuring Sherlock Holmes and Watson was authorised by the Conan Doyle Estate in very much the same manner by which the Agatha Christie Estate have recently authorised books by other authors using that writer's characters. Anthony Horowitz is a good choice for writing using Sherlock Holmes and Watson given that most importantly he is a good writer himself and also due to the fact that he has written novels selling well into the millions. He also has the advantage of not only being able to write in the Conan Doyle style but bringing a contemporary twist to the novel also. This time the story is in sort of two parts that are linked by a murder. The novel starts off with Holmes being asked by a man of means to try and locate a man who is stalking him. The man had recently been to the United States where he had become involved tangentially for taking down a crime gang. There was one member of the gang still alive and now this man thinks that this is the person who is stalking him and waiting for the right time to kill him.

Holmes decides to take on the case but it is only when he employs the Baker Street Irregulars that serious trouble comes his way. One of the Irregulars gets himself murdered in a very barbaric way and Holmes is shocked to his core. It is here that he first hears about the House of Silk and knowing nothing about it decides to find out how it is involved in the death of the young child. He is warned off the case in no uncertain terms and even when he is incarcerated for murder himself still persists in his case.

So how does Sherlock Holmes escape from prison? He does it well and even so despite all the odds being stacked up against him continues on in his quest. He hasn't forgotten about the other case either and even Watson, while Holmes is still in prison, is working on that case himself even though he has very little to add. When Holmes gets out of prison though the whole case heats up. He has finally found out the secret to the House of Silk. While it wouldn't be right to give away what that is in this detective story, the whole point of which revolves around the identity of the House of Silk, needless to say it is a shocking one.

Anthony Horowitz really captures the style and flavour of Sherlock Holmes' adventures as retold by Watson. In fact one of the first things that we learn is that he found the whole thing to be so shocking that he is putting the contents of the book into a vault for 100 years. In addition they solve the whole stalking case as well, which shouldn't be such a surprise for Irish people up on first name terms for men and women.

Overall a great read.

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