From Publishers Weekly
Canadian Engel's serviceable venture into the Sherlock Holmes genre suffers by comparison to David Pirie's The Patient's Eyes (2002), likewise substituting a young Arthur Conan Doyle and his real-life mentor, Dr. Joseph Bell, for Watson and Holmes. When a beautiful opera singer and her lover are found brutally slain, suspicion falls on Alan Lambert, "a man of good family fallen upon evil days," whose brother asks Bell for assistance. As the doctor and his protege race the clock to save Lambert from the gallows, Edinburgh's power elite impedes their efforts at every turn. Undeterred, the pair persists in exploring numerous avenues of inquiry that the police have ignored or discounted. While the period details ring true and Bell is a convincing master detective, with his deductions based on careful observation and encyclopedic knowledge, his personality remains far less developed than that of Pirie's hero. Similarly, Engel barely alludes to Doyle's well-documented family difficulties, which provided Pirie with ample grist for making the future creator of Sherlock Holmes sympathetic and complex. Moreover, the murderer's identity will come as less than a surprise to most readers.
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Mr. Engel is a born writer, a natural stylist . . . This is a writer who can bring a character to life in a few lines. (Ruth Rendell)
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.