It’s a rare book indeed that I find myself compelled to read straight through, and this has become an even more rare occurrence in recent years due to an increasingly busy life. So when I tell you that I read this book in two days in two sittings, that should give you a good indication of just how compelling this book is.

Yes, it’s a Sherlock Holmes book. Yes, it’s not by Arthur Conan Doyle. I’m not normally one to recommend a book that uses characters created by other writers, but there’s an exception to everything, and Laurie R. King is the exception. Give her credit for the creation of a character just as interesting as Holmes, and for portraying Holmes in not just a reverential manner, but a professional one. That is, she lets him grow as a character, rather than keeping him static. This is a huge improvement over Doyle (albeit Holmes changed under his pen, but not quite as believably).

King also has a wonderful plot here, and a wonderful villain. The combination kept me up until 1 a.m. on two nights running. Likely it will do the same for you.

[Finished 19 September 2001]


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