House of Silk
5 / 5
Perfect homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
“The game once more, is afoot.” Anthony Horowitz has encapsulated all that we love about Sherlock Holmes, his fantastical deductions, astonishing methods of enquiry and brilliance in obtaining the truest state of the facts as can possibly be attained. What starts off as a peculiar circumstance involving some destroyed Constable Paintings and a notorious Boston Irish gang, turns out to lead to a case which threatens both Holmes and Watson’s lives.
A plethora of villains tries to deny Holmes from finding the inconspicuous and ambiguous place, called the House of Silk. The severity of the investigation, which his brother Mycroft had warned them against taking on, comes to fruition and Holmes’ resourcefulness and unique talent for disguise and misdirection are exemplified. Holmes finds himself calling upon his talents as the claws of the criminal beast enclose around him, and threaten his life like nothing before, save his memorable show down with Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls in “The Final Problem”.
The original case that triggers the interest of Holmes was that of the destruction of four Constable Paintings that were in the process of being sold and transported from Carstairs’ London gallery to a wealthy man in Boston, via a train, which happened to be the target of an Irish gang known as the Flat Cap Gang. However, this peculiar case was to lead to a more unusual and enthralling investigation. Events concerning both converged at the crime scene in a backstreet hotel. The case to find the mysterious House of Silk ensues, and as the investigation develops, the dangers that they face become more evident and more serious as the hidden and powerful attempt to conceal all their criminal activities from the great consulting detective, which for once Holmes is in the dark about. Here we find Holmes with his back against the wall and in seemingly impossible situations, but inevitably, he conjures up fantastical methods that help to solve the case in barely fathomable ways.
Horowitz’s House of Silk is a creditworthy homage to the brilliant Sir Arthur Conan, which can be added to the increasing Holmesian canon. He has proved to be a laudable writer to continue the legacy of Sherlock Holmes through this pastiche. Horowitz has adopted Doyle’s unique style of writing along with his own sense of story-telling to create a novel, which depicts the secretive and with-holding facets of Sherlock’s character with Watson’s adulating and trustworthiness, only too well known to readers of Sherlock. I also commend Horowitz with his conclusion of the House of Silk; he has dealt with a sensitive subject with respect and shown the darker side of society which has existed throughout history, but has largely been untouched in fiction.
For those of you who have enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes Collection, and are in need of a book to fill the Sherlock Holmes void, I can attest that this is the perfect book for you, and you will not be disappointed with Horowitz’s homage to Conan Doyle, in fact, you will thoroughly enjoy it.