The House of Silk – Anthony Horowitz

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Anthony Horowitz inhabits the memories and pen of Dr.Watson in his Sherlock Holmes novel The House of Silk. It seems very Holmesian to me, although I would have to have recently imbibed a number of Arthur Conan Doyle’s originals to pick it apart on style.

In this story, embargoed for a century by Watson whose first-person voice relates the whole affair, Holmes is approached by an art dealer with a lethal problem. The wild goose chases that ensue are mostly fatal ones and the first crime is compounded by so many more that an entirely new level of depravity is uncovered.

The destruction of irreplaceable masterpieces leads to the decimation of a marauding Irish gang in America, the murder of a Boston Brahmin, a dead man in a cheap London hotel, a family coming undone in one of London’s fancier enclaves, many fascinating excursions through the mind of the great sleuth, and the brutal death of two children. Holmes is implicated, falsely and fairly, in puzzling homicides and he is framed and imprisoned for murder after walking deliberately into a trap.

Things get pretty wild. It’s entertaining. Some important plot points are so similar to the underlying evil in other murder mysteries I’ve read on this book-a-day hamster-wheel that I guessed what was going on earlier than I might have otherwise. But that shouldn’t spoil it for anyone. The House of Silk pays homage to Holmes and Conan Doyle quite elegantly. Horowitz was approved by the estate to write this book, probably on the strength of his other best selling mystery work. Holmes would likely find little fault with it.

The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel   Anthony Horowitz | Little, Brown and Company  2011

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3 responses »

    • Thanks for your comment. I read your review (excellent) and I’m happy to know, from a diehard Holmes fan, that Horowitz did capture the spirit of the original books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’d read another “modern” Holmes by him, if he should ever attempt it again. Meanwhile, I’ll likely keep an eye out for some of Horowitz’ contemporary novels.

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