4 / 5 Stars
Enjoyable, though the ending was a bit of a let-down.
I must confess, I was only reading this as my youngest is really into Sherlock Holmes, and I had to check it was suitable for him. However, I got into it a lot more than I anticipated, and ended up quite enjoying it - though I did have a few issues along the way.
The book picks up after the dramatic demise of Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Moriarty. Frederick Chase (who happens to be the narrator) is sent from the Pinkerton Agency in the US to investigate. He becomes good friends with Athelney Jones, a policeman who was greatly influenced by the late great detective.
Together, they delve deep into the grimy underworld of crime in London, chasing after the mysterious Charles Devereaux. As with all good plots in this genre, there are lots of twists and turns, and the stakes are high. However, there's no happy ending with this book... as you'll find out if you read it!
I would definitely classify this as a page-turner. From the start, I was drawn into the criminal world, and found the characters intriguing and rounded (much like the originals really; Horowitz did a good job of capturing the tone of Conan Doyle's work).
There was a good ensemble of unsavory types, and I enjoyed the parts where Athelney Jones deduces what's going on; much like Holmes always used to do. However, the ending I found a little trite and tired. It's been done before, I was hoping (as I was reading) that the author wouldn't go there... but he did.
Overall though, it was a fun, thrilling read - can't complain too much!