There’s this new thing now for contemporary writers to take a stab at writing new works for celebrated, but dead, literary figures. Anthony Horrowitz’s ‘House of Silk’, a new Sherlock Holmes story really kicked it off. I read House of Silk and really enjoyed it.
‘Moriarty’, is another Sherlock Holmes book by Horrowitz, except without Sherlock Holmes (this is after Holmes famously faked his own death in a duel with Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls, so he’s not around). Instead our protagonist is Fred Chase, a Pinkerton Investigator who is tracking down a criminal mastermind from America who is now reeking havoc in London.
The Pinkerton Detective Agency is a private detective agency founded in 1850. Horrowitz clearly did a bit of research on cool things at the time, and sprinkled references throughout the book. I didn’t find the writing in this book as good as House of Silk, but I think actually it’s more a problem with the plot.
It sort of plods along for most of the book, until the big twist is revealed. I feel like a lot of people will say the twist was obvious, I didn’t figure it out but it didn’t exactly knock me off my chair. It did make me a little sad for one of the characters. Mainly it annoyed me. One of those twists which I think was supposed to make me think, ‘ohhh, that explains everything now’, but instead made me think, ‘so, everything up until now was bollocks then?’ And the twist comes in an odd chapter than goes back and reexplains everything that just happened which is boring. And there wasn’t really a mystery that you could try and solve. But it’s pretty similar to the original Holmes stories in the sense that you don’t know what’s going on until Holmes explains that he figured it all because clearly the chimney sweep is really the third in line to the Prussian throne.
So I was not overly impressed with the book, and recommend instead that you all go out and get House of Silk.