Throughout literary history characters have emerged that continue to stand the test of time. Characters such as Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ and Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’.
Over the years several authors have written books and short stories starring the famous detective. While most were good (and some not so good in my opinion) few were able to capture Doyle’s particular writing style. That is, for me at least, until Guy Adams came along.
As of this writing, Adams has written two original Sherlock Holmes novels. Sherlock Holmes: The Breath of God and Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau. Breath of God came out first and really should be read before The Army of Dr. Moreau simply because a few characters are introduced in the first book and re-appear in the second. Of course, should the reader not do so it will in no way decrease their enjoyment of the book.
In The Army of Dr. Moreau, we see Sherlock and Watson approached by Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft. Bodies have started to surface bearing wounds that could only be inflicted by wild animals not found in London. The bodies are supposedly the calling card of Dr. Moreau, but as he was drummed out of England and later died, it could not possibly be him murdering these individuals. Some person or persons have picked up Dr. Moreau’s work where he left off and continue to experiment. Mycroft instructs Holmes and Watson to find who it is before their work goes too far.
As you can tell by the title, this book features not one but two well known literary characters. Reading further in to the story, we are introduced to even more literary characters such as Professor Challenger from Doyle’s The Lost World and Abner Perry from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ At the Earth’s Core, among others. I will not divulge their roles in the book as that would ruin the fun. I will say however that Adams weaving of the multiple characters from different authors is well done. They are not simply dropped in to the book but are given a role, one that fits each one well and would be completely plausible should they all exist in the same literary universe.
The pacing of the book was also well done, I found it to be a real page turner. The language and style of speaking is very reminiscent of the original stories. Adams captures not only the cadence of Sherlock Holmes’ speech but that of Dr. Watson and the myriad of other characters within.
I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and have been for many years. This recent influx of new fiction with the famous detective delights me to no end. Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau is one I will be adding to my shelves.