I was wary of buying this book as I feared that the author couldn't match Conan Doyle's inventiveness of plot. However, I was wrong: it's an excelle..Show More »nt, intricate and satisfyingly complicated story that kept me gripped and eager to find out what happened next. Those of you who have read/listened to Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books will take pleasure in the allusions to characters from the original series that are grafted into this homage to a master of detective fiction. The pleasure of this audio version is greatly enhanced by Derek Jacobi's lively narration and ability to mimic many different accents.
Heavens! It takes a brave man to take up the pen and try to extend the Sherlock Holmes legend. However, Anthony Horrowitz is just such a man. He pr..Show More »oduces a fast-moving adventure with plenty of action and possibly slightly more gore than you'd expect, though never overly gratuitous in my view. The foundations of a Holmes novel are here of course with a mysterr to solve, dastardly villains the two leads in Detective Athelney Jones and Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase. They are obviously there to provide a similar chemistry to Holmes and Watson but they are treated not as mere imitations but as characters and back stories in their own right. The way that Athelney Jones a minor character from the original stories is worked into the plot is particularly well done.
All well and good but throughout the story there are continual hints that we are all missing something. I had all kinds of theories but the twist when it comes really does send a jolt through the senses and it's a genuine double take moment when it happens. I'll definitely say no more because to do so would be to risk ruining it. I'm sure it will divide opinion but there are some lengths taken to "reveal all" which helps.
The narration is very good and although not all accents were fully convincing to my ear the different characters were easy to distinguish and the drama maintained throughout.
In summary I felt this was a very fine effort and well worth a credit and the time spent. The big twist will most likely be the telling point for how most readers regard the book. I thought it was stunningly good and would highly recommend it!