Writer Rafe McGregor's short story "The Long Man: A Sherlock Holmes Encounter" is a delightful romp featuring Chief Inspector Roderick Langham of Scotland Yard, who is posing as a stockbroker to investigate an arms smuggling operation. At an inn, where he is tracking his target, he meets a loquacious professor named Edford. His undercover assignment goes awry when the academic is found dead. Enter Dr. Watson and Holmes. David Ian Davies gives an engaging, masterful performance, imbuing each character with a distinctive voice.
©2007 Rafe McGregor; (P)2009 One Voice Recordings
Anyone who caught Mr McGregor's turn-of-last-century crime novel 'The Architect of Murder' will have some idea what to expect here: smart, detailed historical crime fiction, with a powerful sting in the tale.
Here, though, the sting is anything more potent. This is a tale that builds towards a very clever ending, and does so beautifully. That said, the first half is - well, not slow exactly, but certainly meticulous. Bear with it, and bask in the wealth of detail, because there are countless puzzle pieces scattered in there that the impatient listener will miss. Then listen through again and appreciate how neatly put together the story really is.
If that sounds like hard work, it shouldn't. 'The Long Man' has a charming voice, a fascinating protagonist, a guest appearance by two of popular literature's finest creations and more subtlety than many a novel. As if that weren't enough, it receives a superlative treatment from David Ian Davies, who's lent his vocal abilities to many an audiobook on this site. Mr Davies reads extremely well. But more than that, he acts, imbuing each character (and particularly the narrator himself) with a real depth of personality. He also pulls off a remarkable range of accents - in places it's hard to believe this is all the work of a single reader.
In short ... 'The Long Man' is a damn good crime story told wonderfully well.
Rushed sentences one into another, awful characterisation, read without any real feeling. Could not finish what might have been an interesting story.
A fantastic historical crime story, cleverly brought to life by David Ian Davies. Terrifically well-woven historical detail, an intriguing mystery and an appearance by Holmes himself make for a thoroughly enjoyable recording.
A really first class Holmesian pastiche performed to an excellent standard. Great writing by McGregor, great acting by Davies. One of my favourites so far.
As of 06/03/09 the recording is 15 minutes long. I believe it should be considerably longer.
Approximately 9 minutes into the recording the narrator (not Holmes or Watson) is walking toward an archaeological site in the company of a professor. In the NEXT SENTENCE, the narrator is looking at himself in a mirror. He has blood on his face, a growth of beard, and is considering the need to solve the professor's murder.
Holmes' first appearance in this story is a past-tense reference to actions and deductions which are not a part of the recording. The story then sweeps on to its ending.
I have notified Audible.com that the recording appears to be incomplete and Aufible is investigating.
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