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A Betrayal In Blood
Sherlock Holmes
Mark A Latham

Titan Books
28 March 2017/ ISBN 9781783298662

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


It is 1894 and all London is abuzz with the astonishing case of Count Dracula. Professor van Helsing and his “Crew of Light” have been acquitted of the count’s death and people are reading the story in the newspapers. But is everything as it seems? Mycroft asks his brother to find out more and discover if there truly is such a thing as a vampire and whether the whole story is fact, or an elaborate and criminal fiction…

I have read a lot of Sherlock Holmes novels and for a number of reasons this is one of the best I have read in a long time. Connecting Holmes and Dracula is not a new idea, but here it is stood on its head in a most original way. The intrepid pair has to sift through the published “facts” and interview the various characters in the Stoker story to sort out what actually happened. From London to Whitby via Exeter and on to Transylvania, the pace in this book never lets up, gathering momentum as it rushes towards an end and reason for it all that I didn’t see coming. I was impressed by the way the author had taken a work dealing with the paranormal and converted it into something dealing with…well, you will have to read it to find out. The various characters have also been turned upside down, with van Helsing making a sinister nemesis not unlike Moriarty, together with various other people who are not what they seem. No editing is required here in a story that seems exactly the right length and packed with incident. This is the author’s first Sherlock Holmes mystery and I do hope it won’t be his last. Essential reading for anybody who wants to read a novel that manages to combine Conan Doyle’s trademark taste for the bizarre in crime with another Victorian classic.

Reviewed 2017