My hands practically trembled as I opened to the first page of The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz. This is not simply one of the many books inspired by Sherlock Holmes or based on Sherlock Holmes or part of the whole Sherlock Homes resurgence of late.
This book is in fact a New Sherlock Holmes novel that has been approved and endorsed by the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The first authentic Sherlock Holmes novel to be written and published in over a hundred years!
That makes this book very unique. But can it live up to the very big shoes of Sir AC Doyle?
I say yes. I believe that the House of Silk captures the essence of the old stories and recreates the aura of 221B Baker Street for us to visit once again.
As usual, Dr. Watson is narrating the adventure, except that this time he is an old man and Holmes has long since passed. He is remembering their last and most shocking escapade in the year 1890.
Plot synopsis from Amazon.com:
London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap – a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place.
Almost unwillingly, Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn ever deeper into an international conspiracy connected to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston, the gaslit streets of London, opium dens and much, much more. And as they dig, they begin to hear the whispered phrase-the House of Silk-a mysterious entity that connects the highest levels of government to the deepest depths of criminality. Holmes begins to fear that he has uncovered a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society.
Our favorite characters are all there. Lestrade of Scotland Yard, given a much more sympathetic view in this rendition. Mrs. Hudson, always ready to serve tea to calm the nerves of her tenants. The self serving brother, Mycroft Holmes wanders in and out and of course Dr. Watson, always there to record the events and provide the occasional life saving piece of intelligence.
We are reminded that Holmes is at once a brilliant and somewhat broken man. The addictions nag at him and while the lesser mortals struggle to understand the simplest of clues, he has already understood the conclusion and patiently and not so patiently waits for them to catch up. We see that his superior intellect is also a curse and very isolating.
I really loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone whether you are a solid Sherlock Holmes fan, or have never heard of him! You will enjoy this novel either way.
The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel is available on Amazon.com.