Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Sigh. Not a good book to end Project Sherlock on. You just can't win them all.
I half-expected this book to disappoint me. Over the course of this endeavor, I've come across books that really just flew off the edge of common sense and face planted in the world of the ridiculous. I've come across some select books that were absolute gems, but the key word here is "select".
The worst part is that it starts off fantastically as bodies wash up in random places and Holmes is called to investigate. How Watson was roped into a false sense of security only to be stabbed in the back and taken away by the villain was a nice touch. Kane was kind of funny, once I saw who he really was. It was nice to see Professor Challenger in there, as a nod to another ACD work.
But Holmes said something to the effect that Moreau's army was just the remains of his experimentation being exploited by a mastermind and he was right. When half-human half-animal hybrids came into the mix, I knew we were headed for the ridiculous and I dreaded it. Why do you think it took me so long to finish it?
The climax did not feel very tense, I didn't feel worried about any main characters being hurt (as we only knew very little about them, they weren't needed all that much), and I really wanted to see some more closure in dealing with Moreau's successor. So they laid a stupidly simple trap and all Holmes had to do was lock him in a room. Woohoo, that's so exciting...... not. The way Kane was handled was just stupid. Yeah, I expected him to be a Pit bull, not a puppy! Sorry if I sound a bit harsh, but that is about the worst thing an author can do: resolve something that is supposed to be terrifying by ending it with a joke. This author should be forced to watch the Sherlock episode The Hounds of Baskerville before he's allowed to handle dogs again.
It's such a shame. This had potential. But it just did not seem like a Holmesian case and was not very grounded in reality at all, something that I have come to expect from good Holmes pastiches.
Oh, and just a little advice for anyone writing a Holmes pastiche.
After all, you don't want to get carried away.
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