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Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper Legacy
David Stuart Davies

Titan Books
19 July 2016/ ISBN 9781783296590

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson receive a visit from an agitated man one morning in 1895. Ronald Temple’s young child has been kidnapped, although oddly no ransom has been demanded and the boy seems to have vanished. Holmes is not optimistic as there appear to be no leads, but the Temples have not been completely truthful. Soon a connection to the Royal family is discovered, and links with the Ripper murders a decade earlier. The pair must act fast if they are not going to pay with their lives for their investigations.

Unlike in the original stories Watson does not narrate the whole book but shares his chapters with those written in a third person viewpoint. This gives readers a chance to see what is going on when Watson is not around, and it is a personal preference mostly if this is preferred to the original style or not. The novel follows the classic Holmes format with the pair receiving a guest with a mystery and then following clues complete with disguises, captures and a slight twist of the unusual. More of the latter would have been even better as the touches of the bizarre are what raise the original tales from very good to great. As it is, this is an entertaining and in some places even exciting story but with nothing much to mark it out as special. This in itself is not a bad thing as surely the main reason for reading these “pastiches” is to have more quintessential Holmes and Watson and Mr. Davies writes a pacy tale with no room for treading water. I would read more by this author.

Reviewed 2016