By Anthony Horowitz
4.25 / 5
Darkness Falls but also Rises
Having read all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Collection and Anthony Horowitz’s House of Silk, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read a book devilishly titled Moriarty. Set in the immediate aftermath of The Final Problem, the scene of the dramatic showdown between Holmes and Moriarty at Reichemback Falls. Scotland Yard detective Athelney Jones and American Pinkerton investigator Frederick Chase form a determined partnership as they attempt to bring down an American criminal mastermind who has effectively taken over the criminal network created by Moriarty.
Frederick Chase takes on the role as Watson, the chronicler of the investigation, he explains to Jones of a dangerous criminal mastermind who was to join forces with Moriarty, and together wreak havoc in England and America on an unprecedented scale. Clarence Devereux, like Moriarty was a faceless man who exerted his undeniable power over a large circuit of hooligans, businessmen, politicians and all manner of villains, without dirtying his hands. With Moriarty out of the picture, the allegiances of his criminal network turned to Devereux who seized the opportunity.
The case is afoot when they discover a drowned man found at the bottom of Reichemback Falls, who they believe to be Moriarty, a coded message using an extract from A Study in Scarlett, seemingly from Devereux or one of his cronies, to meet in London. From there onwards, Jones and Chase strike a partnership and friendship as they attempt to find this man and bring him to justice for his crimes in America and to prevent his increasing influence in England. Their investigation brings them to London and Jones embarks in very much a Holmesian manner, to unearth clues through magnificent deductions and observations.
Though not quintessentially a Holmes book, Horowitz again like House of Silk portrays the very essence of Doyle’s London, shrouded in danger that encapsulates the metropolis, while Jones provides some of the characteristics that are similar to Holmes’s. Devereux with the assistance of his viscous and dangerous lieutenants have created a criminal network that has cloaked London with a dark veil that is felt by Chase and Jones during their enquiry, while all the time Devereux is hidden from their view. Jones and Chase endeavour in this case that sees them face many of Devereux’s American cronies and hooligans as they enter deeper down the rabbit hole of violence, gangsters and murder. They find themselves in real danger as Deveraux becomes increasingly aware of this meddlesome and persistent duo, similar to the Holmes and Watson ilk, and they somehow have to balance their progress in the case with their safety.
One quick mention of the finale, which I will not spoil for you, all that needs to be said is that it is stunning and superbly executed.
Another fantastic novel by Anthony Horowitz, he has weaved an exciting, entertaining and enthralling story that has blended excellently with Doyle’s work and has filled somewhat of a hole during Holmes’ Great Hiatus. A must read for fans of Doyle, Horowitz and crime fiction together. Utterly outstanding.