The House of Silk is a Conan-Doyle estate approved revival of the Great Detective by Antony Horowitz, told by an aged Dr Watson with Holmes himself gone. The tale has been withheld because of the nature of the crimes involved and the fact that their becoming public would “tear apart the entire fabric of society”, so he is writing them while he still can for release after he too is dead.
Why did I want to read it?
I have always tried to read at last one Holmes-related novel during August Crime Month – the man’s portrait is of course the header for the challenge (the post is here in case you missed it) and this sounded really interesting. I also like what I have read of Horowitz.
What did I think of it?
This is really very well done indeed, capturing the tone of the original stories with slightly more edge to suit modern tastes, being a little less circumspect about the nature of the criminal acts without being explicit, and showing that what we might consider a modern crime does of course have its roots in the way young people in poverty were treated in the past and how the status of certain individuals meant that even the most appalling things would be covered up through fear of at best loss of respect for their betters and at worst potential revolution. All the usual stalwarts are here – Mrs Hudson, Inspector Lestrade and the Baker Street Irregulars – and of course Holmes gets himself into danger and shows of both his analytical skills and talent for disguise. But definitely quid a bit darker than most Holmes-related fare.
The next in the series, Moriarty, comes out later this year (just in time for Christmas, in case anyone’s interested)