Moriarty and The House of Silk

And The House of Silk.


The answer is no.

Just in case you wondered if Moriarty was a prominent character in the detective ‘House of Silk’.

He wasn’t.

In ‘Moriarty’, evidently, he’s omnipresent and at the very same time, he’s barely present at all.
As far as I know, ‘Moriarty’ is only the second Sherlock-detective by Anthony Horowitz, the first of course being ‘The House of Silk’.

“Anthony who?”, you may wonder. Not so much, because the author’s name sounds unfamiliar, but rather because the link between him and Sherlock Holmes seems to be missing.

Those were my own thoughts exactly when my eldest son referred me to the two novels.

As far as I could remember, Horowitz equalled horror, or better said rather grim stories for youngsters. And wasn’t there an Alex something (Rider?), portrayed as a young James Bond, with at least one movie on the conto? These thoughts lurked from behind a thick veil somewhere at the back of my head when I heard the name Horowitz.

Not to mention the vague memory that there had been a musician or composer by the same surname, though probably with another first name.
The first Holmes pastiche ‘The House of Silk’ was a superb, though somewhat sombre novel that took Holmes and Watson into unusually dark territory.
The second novel, ‘Moriarty’, takes place in the aftermath of the final showdown with Moriarty at the Reichenbach falls. Holmes reappeared three years later, but what happened to Moriarty? Could he possibly also have been in for a resurrection?

At Reichenbach, the two protagonists in ‘Moriarty’ meet: Frederick Chase and Athelney Jones.

Frederick Chase, who narrates the story, is a Pinkerton agent from New York, in pursuit of some shady, American criminal master mind.

Athelney Jones is a detective of Scotland Yard, who figured quite unfavourably in one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories.

Jones appears to have taken Holmes’s criticisms to heart and has devoted himself to studying and copying the master’s analytical methods. 
As I can’t provide you with all the details and most certainly cannot give away the final plot, let me put it like this: it is a splendid story, quite true to the original, yet a bit too predictable from the start onwards.
But maybe that is the biggest praise one can give an author: in spite of the predictability of the plot, the reader still is prepared to postpone his or her judgement and not only tries to postpone judgement, but really looks through the eyes of the main characters to experience first-hand the events that unfold.
So, do read it.

Even better: read both.


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