As you may have guessed, I spend a lot of time reading (although not as much time as I would like). Sometimes books come along and, while they may be entertaining, they just don’t have what it takes to become one of my recommended Saturday Selections. Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz started out seeming like it would be one of those books, but blasted its way into one of my Saturday Selections with a superbly done plot twist near the end.
About the Book
Moriarty takes over just after Professor Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes take their tumble over Reichebach Falls in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Final Problem. Holmes’s body is never found, but Moriarty’s body has been recovered from the water and two detectives are on the case: Scotland Yard’s Athelney Jones and Frederick Chase from the American detective agency, PInkerton’s.
Following a trail of clues, Jones and Chase try to sort out how Professor Moriarty was involved with a group of American gangsters that have jumped the pond and set up shop in London. The object of the investigation is the leader of the American gang, Clarence Devereux. In their efforts to find him, many of his associates die and Jones and Chase’s lives are placed in ever-deepening danger.
And just when they think they have their man, you learn things aren’t quite as they seem.
How Was It?
For a Sherlock Holmes-loving nerd like me, this book was a huge amount of fun to read. Horowitz has done his homework regarding the era and tone of Doyle’s stories so it feels almost as if you’re reading a long-lost Doyle manuscript. The use of characters that appeared in Doyle’s stories such as Athelney Jones (Sign of Four) and John Clay (The Red-Headed League) adds a new depth to Doyle’s minor characters. How good is Horowitz? His books are some of the rare few that meet the official approval of the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
People unfamiliar with the Holmes stories, but who like a good adventure mystery should also enjoy the book’s twists and turns, well-developed characters and the ever-present nagging question in the back of your mind of just who these characters really are.
While the story is fast-paced and well-written, it really is that twist at the end that will leave you recommending Moriarty to your friends.
Have a great Saturday everyone!