Review: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Sherlock Holmes first appeared in 1887 in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mystery novel A Study in Scarlet. For decades Doyle entertained readers with the wit and cynicism of the famous Baker Street detective. Over a century later, the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd. endorsed a new Holmes adventure to be written by Anthony Horowitz. And what an adventure it is.
The book is narrated by Sherlock Holmes’s trusted confidant, Dr. John Watson, who confesses that he is chronicling the horrific events that took place at The House of Silk many years after the death of his dear friend for selfish reasons.
“So why do I take up my pen one final time to stir up memories which might better be forgotten? Perhaps my reasons are selfish. It could be that, like so many old men with their lives behind them, I am seeking some sort of solace. The nurses who attend upon me assure me that writing is therapeutic and will prevent me from falling into the moods to which I am sometimes inclined.”
Holmes and Watson are first approached by a wealthy art dealer afraid that he is being followed by the remaining member of the Flat Cap Gang from America. During the course of the investigation into the identity of this individual, Holmes is entrapped in a far darker mystery, with perversion and immorality reaching to the highest levels of society and government.
“When I am done, assuming I have the strength for the task, I will have this manuscript packed up and sent to the vaults of Cox and Co. in Charing Cross, where certain others of my private papers are stored. I will give instructions that for one hundred years, the packet must not be opened. It is impossible to imagine what the world will be like then, what advances mankind will have made, but perhaps future readers will be more inured to scandal and corruption than my own would have been. To them I bequeath one last portrait of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and a perspective that has not been seen before.“
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz captures the essence of a classic Sherlock Holmes novel, as well as the intensity and suspense of any modern mystery novel.