‘The House of Silk’ by Anthony Horowitz

House of Silk
The House of Silk: The Bestselling Sherlock Holmes Novel
5 stars copy

Sherlock Holmes is dead and now his ageing companion, Dr Watson, also teeters towards death. With no-one left to answer to, the great detective’s biographer puts pen to paper one last time to document two very different, yet inexplicably connected, mysteries. When Edmund Carstairs turns up at 221B Baker Street, he unfolds a strange tale of ruined artworks, a pair of villainous brothers and a stranger in a flat cap.

Holmes and Watson begin their investigation, but are soon drawn into another far more sinister mystery, where the oddly named House of Silk spreads its dark influence across the city, frustrating the duo at every turn. Following a visit to an opium den, Holmes finds himself accused of murder and thrown into prison, and with a host of distinguished witnesses on the side of the prosecution, it seems that even he cannot avoid the hangman’s noose…

Having long been a fan of the author’s TV work (in particular ‘Foyle’s War’), I was keen to see what he would do with Conan Doyle’s great detective. From the outset, I felt as if I were reading the work of ACD himself – the narrative is so similar to Doyle’s style that at times it felt positively uncanny. As with all good detective stories, the text is littered with clues that (with any luck) the reader won’t fit together until the denouement. In this case, one of those clues was a little too obvious for my taste, but I have to say the aforementioned denouement, when it arrived, was superbly executed and totally unexpected.

Anthony Horowitz captures not only the voice of Dr Watson, but constructs a thoroughly believable and authentic setting for his heroes. I can’t wait to get my hands on his next offering – ‘Moriarty’. The game’s afoot…

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