The House of Silk — and trust me, you want to! — plan to do nothing for the next few days but read. Anthony Horowitz's novel is a rip-roaring, non-stop adventure with shocks and surprises on every page.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson may be the rage thanks to the BBC, but this book will do its part to boost his popularity.
premise is intriguing: Watson recorded the details of a case so
shocking, so awful, that it had to be kept sealed and hidden for a
century after it occurred.
The story is simple — well, as
simple as Holmes can permit. Holmes is
approached by an art dealer who feels threatened by a figure stalking
his home after he recently returned from American on a work-related
matter. Is it the man from America come to seek revenge? Before we can
answer that question, there is death, violence and a silk ribbon wrapped
around the wrist of a street urchin. Thus they enter the House of Silk —
something so diabolical, so secret that even those who know don't know
but to know they shouldn't know, and neither should Sherlock.
what a story. Horowitz has a way of hinting at the future while
remaining grounded in the story's present. He introduces a few Baker
Street regulars in a way that offers a possibly new way to view them. He
weaves intrigue into every encounter, making the reader's guesses all
that more fun when they see how wrong, or how right, they are.
characters are well-presented, the story taut with suspense and
intrigue, the writing concise but rich in detail and precise language.
the end, it maintains the myth but helps reveal just enough of the man
that is Sherlock Holmes (and Watson) to earn its authorization from the
estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's new but not too new, it's old hat
but in a warm and familiar way, and it is indeed shocking and awful a
story that could only be told in today's world.
through London and its suburbs during the waning years of the 19th
century with two trusted characters and learn about the town, its people
and its history. It's rooted in its time and place, but surprisingly
modern, with the rich language of its time trimmed just enough to fit on
both the pages of today and yesterday.
I recommend this
book, but only if you're ready to read into the wee hours of the night,
then pick it up first thing in the morning, and stay in its pages until
long after you've finished reading it. It's that good.