THE HOUSE OF SILK: THE NEW SHERLOCK HOLMES NOVEL by ANTHONY HOROWITZ.
It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221B Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks.
Intrigued by the man's tale, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston. As the pair delve deeper into the case, they stumble across a whispered phrase 'the House of Silk: a mysterious entity and foe more deadly than any Holmes has encountered, and a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society itself.
......... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): "Influenza is unpleasant," Sherlock Holmes remarked, "but you are right in thinking that, with your wife's help, the child will recover soon."
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 33): He will have walked across the lawn, stood in a flower bed and left muddy tracks across the carpet. From this we will learn, at the very least, his height, his weight, his profession and any peculiarities he may have in his gait.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Without a doubt, one for the shelves.
Though I have seen several film and tv adaptations I have never read any of the original Sherlock Holmes stories which were of course written by Arthur Conan Doyle so unlike several other reviewers of this novel I can't compare it with these books.
Bought as part of a birthday present (Thanks Lisa and Frauke) I must confess that, never a big fan of the films, I was rather dubious about reading this but to my great surprise and delight found myself really enjoying it.
A lot more gritty and, in a way, more contemporary than I expected it to be, the ending wasn't at all what I expected, the thing that I most enjoyed about the novel though wasn't so much the 'mystery' aspect but the descriptions of life in London in the late 1800's - the story of the Baker Street Irregulars (a group of street urchins occasionally employed by Holmes to act as his eyes and ears on the street as it were) I thought particularly well done.
Atmospheric, and incredibly well written, I love the descriptive nature ........
..... he was as always pale-skinned with bright, sunken eyes and the general demeanour of a rat who has been obliged to dress up for lunch at the Savoy ......
Anthony Horowitz paints a wonderful picture that I'm sure won't disappoint the estate of the late Conan Doyle who sanctioned the writing of The House Of Silk.