The Shadow of Reichenbach Falls by John R. King
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This novel fought hard for the position as my favorite Holmes pastiche - a position that currently belongs to a novel commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate (of which there are two books and I'm not revealing which one is my favorite) - with all of the hold-your-breath and heart-rending moments. It clearly was trying so hard and it just.... fell flat for me.
When you want to write a good tribute to a classic character, it has to be believable. It was believable, in the beginning. But if you want to write a Holmes pastiche, it's a really good idea to not let your imagination completely take over. The only Holmes story that had even a hint of ghosts turned out to have a perfectly logical explanation, and was true to the Holmes style, and this story veered off of the face of common sense and was no longer a feasible tribute to the great detective.
I enjoyed the return of Holmes and Moriarty, and I enjoyed Harry Silence - even though after a while I felt that that character was being a bit overused and I hoped Holmes would be fully restored.
I enjoyed Moriarty's memoir and understood why it had to be told and I liked the appearance of John Watson, though I would have liked to see Holmes reunite with him. (I understand why it didn't happen, but it bothered me that they were literally just paces away from reuniting and it didn't go through.)
A bit too fantastical to be a true Holmes story, but it kept me turning the pages, always anticipating what was to happen next.
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