Deep in England's green and pleasant land something evil lurks....
Dr. John Watson is back home, fresh from his time in the trenches of Flanders Fields. The horrors of war weigh heavy on his mind, and now his task is to help rehabilitate soldiers suffering from the crippling effects of shell-shock.
But the war is not yet over and in one corner of England lies a secret, one that the establishment is determined to keep under wraps. For in the woodlands of the lush countryside, the government is building the secret weapon which will win the war for Britain. Here, they are developing the land ship - never-before-seen "tanks" which the army is convinced will end the stalemate on the Western Front.
But then disaster strikes. After a training exercise in one of the tanks, eight men are mysteriously struck down, seven of them dead. There is just the one survivor, and he's not talking. It is clear something is horribly wrong, and the army calls in the only man who will know how to solve the mystery: Dr. John Watson.
©2014 Robert Ryan (P)2015 Simon & Schuster
I don't know what my problem is with this title, but it's just not grabbing me at all. It's 1916 and the British Army are developing a new weapon that they hope will bring an end to the Great War. However a live test has killed 6 out of 7 operators, and left the 7th man a deranged mute. Call in Dr Watson to see what's up.
There, I've just summarised the first 12 chapters. (Yes, I did say 12 Chapters) To say the pace is slow would be an understatement. And I suppose it will always be a pitfall for any author writing about Dr Watson, but if he's mentioned Sherlock Holmes once he's done it a dozen times, and it's starting to get tiresome. Either this is a Dr Watson book or a Sherlock Holmes book, please decide.
The narration by Richard Burnip is very good, although he has also fallen into a trap when voicing Winston Churchill's lines, where he uses the famous 'Fight them on the beaches' voice of Churchill's later WWII years.
I dunno, I'm a third of the way in and I truly am not engaged by this title. There's no suspense at all, and none of the characters seem real in any way. I will try to persevere but I doubt I'll make it to the end...
"Oh dear, Watson."
Yes, for twenty die hard fans of Holmes there are at least 20% hard core Watson fans who wanted to get to know the 'real' Dr.Watson uncensored by his own pen. In order to be best pals with Sherlock Holmes, one cannot be a total idiot who goes about pointing at things in total cluelessness. Yay, for Dr. Watson!
Ouch! The number times Dr. Watson got injured, I'm surprised he managed to make it to the final pages. However, the book did indicated that the good Doctor (or Major, if you prefer) have weeks to recover after a serious bout of injury, so, not quite so out of bounds.
I like Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes' voices. It was not particularly outstanding, but the little errors and inconsistencies with non-major characters can be easily overlooked as the plot pushes on.
I listened to it when I drive, so not really. But I did drive more slowly so I can listen to it longer.
If only there are more Dr. Watson books out there.
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