In October, a day after the release of his new novel Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz came to Edinburgh to talk about how hard it was to write a second Sherlock Holmes novel, especially a Sherlock Holmes novel that doesn't feature Sherlock Holmes.....
It opens just after Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty supposedly die at the Reichenbach Falls. Inspector Athelney Jones from Scotland Yard is sent to investigate and is met by Frederick Chase, a detective from the Pinkerton's Agency in New York. Chase is more interested in the death of Moriarty and his involvement with an American gang of master criminals led by Clarence Deveraux who have weaseled their way into the criminal underworld of London. They discover a note that links Moriarty to a meeting with Deveraux and as Watson would say, 'the game is afoot'.
The story is narrated by Frederick Chase and is written in the style of one of Watson's casebooks, Chase being the Watson to Jones' Holmes. I felt the most sympathy for the character of Inspector Athelney Jones, a competent policeman who has dedicated the last year of his life to learning the brilliant techniques of Sherlock Holmes. Jones is likable, with a brilliant mind for detective work, whereas Chase is more a witness to Jones' spurts of genius.
I thought 'Moriarty' was a real page turner. The characters were intriguing and well written (I'd expect nothing less from Anthony Horowitz), and the ending was genius. I don't want to spoil it, but it was completely unexpected and I had to re-read the last bit again to make sure I'd read it right. It's the sort of book where when you finish it, you automatically feel the need to recommend it, and discuss it with someone else.
I highly recommend you pop down to your local book store and get a copy for yourself. Fans of Anthony Horowitz can expect his usual genius, and newbies to his work will undoubtedly wonder what they've been missing out on all these years.
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