Sherlock Holmes is dead. His arch-nemesis, Moriarty, has gone with him. John Watson has disappeared. Left in their wake is a city brought to its knees by a vicious criminal mastermind.
Hot on the heels of this crime is American Pinkerton’s agent Frederick Chase who teams up with Scotland Yard detective Athelney Jones (from ‘A Sign of Four’), to put an end to London’s misery. Their association will see them witness the unspeakable and face great horrors.
As we see a growing camaraderie between the two characters, the plot thickens and unravels with a most shocking twist.
‘Moriarty’ by Anthony Horowitz is written in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle, simulating a similar flavour, while carrying an overall sense of mystery. It fits itself into the nook of Holmes’ hiatus, providing a platform for a sumptuous tale of thrills and deception. The new protagonists ably take the place of our old favourites, with Chase enabling the story, all the while marvelling at Jones’ deduction abilities; abilities he picked up by studying the master himself.
It is, however, rife with a violence that betrays its modern creation. There is a lot of cruelty showcased, which feels out of place in a world inhabited by Sherlock Holmes.
Of course, all this pales in comparison to the shocking revelation at the end. Like a jigsaw puzzle, clues and loose threads fall into place and paint a perfect picture. The true art of Horowitz lies in his ability to play with words, and it shines through in this book.
‘Moriarty’, despite some flaws, is entertaining and exciting — a fitting entry into the Sherlock Holmes canon. It is a pacey read that will have you at the edge of your seat. There is action, emotion and surprise as we navigate familiar streets and meet several characters from previous stories. The game, as they say, is definitely afoot.
— The reader is a resident of Dubai and works in public relations.