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Moriarty Hardcover – Deckle Edge, December 9, 2014
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Mass Market Paperback, International Edition
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Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in London to help Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones track down the sinister figure determined to be Moriarty's successor.
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NB - I am not a professional writer, and certainly not as skilled as Mr Morowitz, and I understand fully well that its easier to comment and crticise than to do something, especially a fresh take on an established classic.
That said, as a reader, I felt that perhaps the end result was a tad overcooked, like a song being played even as the melody has been lost.
A few dramatic devices, while logically acceptable, did not quite feel just right.
And the last chapter seemed contrived, almost as if various end scenarios had been debated over and this was the winner.
And therefore the assessment would be broken up into -
1. Getting the tone and atmospherics right ( not too much deviation from Sir ACD's world)
2. Reasonably paced.
"Force fitted" dramatic devices
End too contrived.
I think a short story / novella on the same premise would be a much better format for the idea.
Choice : Buy/Borrow ?
Recommendation : Strongly - Borrow.
For true fans of Conan Doyle, Detective inspector Jones is an old friend. having appeared in several of the original stories and, usually, made to look foolish by the brilliance of the great detective. He and Chase work in tandem trying to resolve not only who actually died but also who stands to gain from the deaths. Early on the body of Moriarty is found and, although it has been searched in detail by Swiss authorities, immediately yields an encoded letter skillfully hidden in the lining of the dead mans coat. Although the code is known to be unbreakable, Jones deciphers it overnight and off the pair go, seeking with great daring to expose a great international plot.
Daggers are held by cold eyed villains against sweaty throats, bombs abruptly explode in quiet offices and deadly street urchins conspire with psychopathic Americans. In the process, a truly amazing number of British policemen are murdered in random acts of violence. Old friends such as the bumbling Inspector Lestrade and the cold blooded air rifle toting Colonel Moran appear, take their bows and wander off stage.
The narrative is told in first person by Detective Chase in an obvious attempt to replicate the dry wit and keen eye of Doctor Watson, but Detective Chase has neither the tongue nor wit required to pull you into the story. The narrative build slowly into final, momentous buggy chase through the streets of London leading to an ending that must be read to be believed (or disbelieved).
All told, if you want read about the great detective start with "A Study in Scarlet" and work your way through to "The Final Bow." All stories that feature excellent characters, complicated plots and stunning solutions. All of which, sadly, are missing in this book.
Most recent customer reviews
Read it, and you are unlikely to be disappointed with this author