Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Book Review: Moriarty

Anthony Horowitz

A few years ago, Anthony Horowitz--the creator of the outstanding TV series Foyle's War, among other credits--wrote a Sherlock Holmes pastiche. It was, let's say, partially successful: better as a mystery than as Holmesiana.

With Moriarty, Horowitz dodges that bullet. He puts the story within Holmes's continuity, but without Holmes himself. The result is pretty good. It's not perfect: there's some clunky prose, and some of the dialog shows a bit of a tin ear for voice (surprising in a screenwriter, but there it is). However, it has an abundance of the two really important virtues for this sort of popular fiction:

  1. Excellent pacing.
  2. A genuinely surprising denouement.
I've seen other books that have played around with some of the same ideas--John Garner did it in the 1970s--but Moriarty is a very respectable addition to their number.

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