One word review: brilliant.
More detail: this is a clever modern murder mystery novel with a unique perspective, savvy writing, interesting characters (including the author) in a package that has a beautifully engineered plot, plenty of twists, some laughs, and is just good fun.
Bit more detail: a woman goes in to organize her funeral. Several hours later she is dead. Former Detective Daniel Hawthorne is on the case, and he’s trying to convince a certain Anthony Horowitz to write the story of the hunt for the killer. Bizarre, but it works ever so well, and allows lots of unique touches to pop up. For example, the scene with Steven Spielberg is hilarious.
Don’t miss out.
Set in the time after Holmes and Moriarty have their fateful encounter at the Reichenbach Falls, the premise is that an American criminal mastermind – who once sought an alliance with Moriarty – has now become the boss of the London underworld. Into this situation, step Inspector Athelney Jones (a Holmes fanatic) and Frederick Chase (from Pinkerton’s). There are certain challenges, such as not knowing what this person looks like, or where he is based, but briskly onward our gallant duo march!
Horowitz does a terrific job of transporting the reader to Holmes’ world, without descending into slavish copying. This is no pastiche; it is Horowitz’s well written take on this world, with more than enough clever touches of his own. So, it feels fresh and alive.
The story and the plot are well constructed, with enough twists and bends to satisfy the reader – and without overdoing it.
My guess is that the author really enjoyed doing this, as he provides an entirely unnecessary (but very welcome) bonus story at the end of the novel. I will say no more for fear of spilling the fum.
And that’s as good a place to stop: this was great fun. Highly recommended for fans of Sherlock Holmes, or anyone seeking an entertaining journey back to those times.