The Shadow of Reichenbach Falls
Probably the most infamous story in the Sherlock Holmes canon is “The Final Problem” as it relates the facts of the death/murder of the master detective at Reichenbach Falls. On May 4, 1891, the detective met his archenemy Professor Moriarty on a ledge above the falls; the two became locked in a titanic hand-to-hand struggle before both tumbled over the precipice, presumably to their deaths, as witnessed afar by Dr.Watson. The outcry against the death of such a popular character was so great that in 1901 Conan Doyle was forced to give in to the pressure of his fan mail. He resurrected the detective by claiming that Holmes had managed to grab a tuft of grass during the fall into the “dreadful cauldron” and so had lived to solve another mystery.But what really happened that infamous day at Reichenbach Falls and why did Holmes disappear in the aftermath? And what of the infamous Moriarty? How did a noble mathematician become the Napoleon of Crime?The Shadow of Reichenbach Falls provides these answers and more. It turns out that the events were not just witnessed by Watson but by another young detective of the Victorian era—Carnacki the Ghost Finder. Carnacki rescues an amnesiac gentleman from the base of the falls only to find himself and his companion doggedly pursued by an evil mastermind whose shadowy powers may reach from the bloody crime scenes of White Chapel to far beyond the grave.Filled with Holmesian lore and thrilling encounters evocative of Doyle’s work in the Strand magazine, The Shadow of Reichenbach Falls will undoubtedly join the ranks of such successful Holmesian pastiches as The Seven Percent Solution, The West End Horror, and Murder by Decree.  

The Shadow of Reichenbach Falls Details

TitleThe Shadow of Reichenbach Falls
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 5th, 2008
PublisherForge Books
ISBN-139780765318015
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Detective, Retellings

The Shadow of Reichenbach Falls Review

  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    Well this one certainly took me by surprise - I have had in on my reading list for some time but only now did I get my hands on a copy. Well I wasn't really sure what to expect as I knew so little of the story but thought what the hell. In the end I found myself reading it almost continuously and I have not been that determined to finish a book in quite some time.So what of the story - well no spoilers that is me - but it quiet clearly approaches the events of the Reichenbach falls in a totally Well this one certainly took me by surprise - I have had in on my reading list for some time but only now did I get my hands on a copy. Well I wasn't really sure what to expect as I knew so little of the story but thought what the hell. In the end I found myself reading it almost continuously and I have not been that determined to finish a book in quite some time.So what of the story - well no spoilers that is me - but it quiet clearly approaches the events of the Reichenbach falls in a totally different want telling the tale (which obviously up until now had never been told) of what really happened and how it set various people on the course they would later be famous for.So why was I reluctant about the story - well again not wanting to give too much away - you have some famous and some not so famous characters introduced in to this story in new places and events. Now for me name dropping other literary famous characters in to a story is a questionable choice - is to trying to capitalise on their fame or is it trying to tell a different story within an already defined history. Its a tricky one to say and I have read examples where it has and certainly has not worked. For me this time around I think it worked but it still made me stop and wonder.However the writing is so easy to read and accessible I was astounded on how quickly I read through this book. And I will admit where there were occasions that made me stop and wonder - they were very quickly over run by the sheer speed of the action and intensity of the events. It felt that every chapter had some important events or calamity happening. So all in all, although I may have had doubts over the use of certain characters the rip roaring pace of the story quickly over came them. I am glad I picked up the book in the end and for a fun distraction I would certainly recommend it.
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  • Trin
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, I’m no Sherlockian scholar of any merit, but as someone who has, you know, read most of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories at least once, I can say with certainty that if you’ve done the same, this book will make you want to tear your hair out over the inaccuracies and errors. King:1) Has Moriarty turn evil after he kills Jack the Ripper in 1888 and gets possessed by the demon that was possessing the Ripster. Setting that little plot point aside, this still makes no sense in regards to H Okay, I’m no Sherlockian scholar of any merit, but as someone who has, you know, read most of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories at least once, I can say with certainty that if you’ve done the same, this book will make you want to tear your hair out over the inaccuracies and errors. King:1) Has Moriarty turn evil after he kills Jack the Ripper in 1888 and gets possessed by the demon that was possessing the Ripster. Setting that little plot point aside, this still makes no sense in regards to Holmes canon. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t The Valley of Fear open at the very beginning of 1888? Moriarty is already Holmes’ nemesis then, so how could he still be a perfectly innocent mathematician at this point?2) Describes a woman as someone who “voted straight-ticket Tory.” Women did not gain suffrage in Britain until 1918, and not universal suffrage until 1928. Basic history! So basic I caught it! Sheesh.3) Gives Watson, on first reference, the first name “James.” I’m sure this is supposed to be a reference to the fact that Doyle himself at one time screwed this up, and King later switches to the correct appellation of John, but as the name to use, right out of the gate, from Holmes’ own lips—after he’s been reading one of Watson’s accounts in the Strand, no less!—this is just confusing. And stupid.I’m sure there’s more, but those are the three that really stuck out for me. They made it hard for me to focus on and enjoy the parts of the novel that were, albeit briefly, enjoyable, namely: Sherlock Holmes with amnesia! Sadly, that plotline, which I would love to read many, many better versions of, is lost under a hackneyed, “Boy’s Own” adventure-type plot, in which amnesiac!Holmes falls in with a pair of young love birds, Mary Sue and Marty Stu. King doesn’t even attempt to emulate Doyle’s style, which, while admittedly exposition-heavy, was magnificently atmospheric; King can’t even inject a bit of life into set-pieces like a horrific Victorian mental hospital, a night chase across the Swiss alps, or a climactic battle at the Louvre. From the dialogue, half the time the characters might as well have been traipsing through the Glendale Galleria. And then Holmes himself is completely removed from the climax! Did I pick up a Sherlock Holmes pastiche because I want to read about Marty Stu defeating a demonic skeleton? No—I want to read about freakin’ Sherlock Holmes! WITH AMNESIA.That this is bad stings even worse because it could have been so frickin’ cool. Dammit.
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    I have to admit up front that I've been friends with this author for nearly 20 years, so there's the potential for a bit of bias. That said, I'm shocked by the low grades this book has on Goodreads reviewers; the bulk of the 2- or 1-star grades all seem to be linked to the fact that "it's not Sherlockian" enough or somesuch. If you were expecting this to be an imitation of Doyle, you're not reading the dust jacket and thus are coming to a chamber symphony expecting an opera (and will thus be con I have to admit up front that I've been friends with this author for nearly 20 years, so there's the potential for a bit of bias. That said, I'm shocked by the low grades this book has on Goodreads reviewers; the bulk of the 2- or 1-star grades all seem to be linked to the fact that "it's not Sherlockian" enough or somesuch. If you were expecting this to be an imitation of Doyle, you're not reading the dust jacket and thus are coming to a chamber symphony expecting an opera (and will thus be confused or disappointed). Don't slam a book because it doesn't meet expectations that were never promised in the first place--judge a book on its own merits, not what you wish the author had written. I've read a few Holmes stories but absorbed more through movies and whatnot. I'm a fan of Holmes via pop culture, not its canon. Thus, I really enjoyed this book. A fast-paced story that moves on a number of levels. If you want a fun read that plays with the conventions of three major 19th century fictions, this is a great novel. Sherlock Holmes (and Moriarty), Carnacki the Ghost-Finder, and Jack the Ripper all in one = fun. Stevenwho laughed aloud at some of the hidden in-jokes among writer friends in this book
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  • Andie
    January 1, 1970
    Ok - so I think my enjoyment of this book was severely limited because I had not read all of the source material it was based on. I am very familiar with the Sherlock Holmes stories it is based on (and various versions of these), but the William Hope Hodgson work is something I'm completely unfamiliar with. I feel if I was more familiar with it, I would have been expecting some of the turns the story took. As it was, I had a lot of trouble accepting the ending. While the story was well written a Ok - so I think my enjoyment of this book was severely limited because I had not read all of the source material it was based on. I am very familiar with the Sherlock Holmes stories it is based on (and various versions of these), but the William Hope Hodgson work is something I'm completely unfamiliar with. I feel if I was more familiar with it, I would have been expecting some of the turns the story took. As it was, I had a lot of trouble accepting the ending. While the story was well written and the plot makes sense, I just had a hard time accepting the rules of the world Mr. King created.I know this is vague, but in the efforts not to spoil things, I am kind of forced to be vague. I don't necessarily regret reading this book, it was fairly entertaining and it was a fairly quick read for me, despite its length. But, it wasn't what I was expecting in a few key areas, and I didn't like the way the author dealt with the idea of "evil" and the presence of this in the world.
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  • Mrs. Hassig
    January 1, 1970
    If the story has Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Moriarty in it I'm all in! This one was a real burner, electrical that is. We get to meet Moriarty's daughter and a young man named Thomas Carnacki and the game is afoot! Graphic in parts which can't be helped since Jack the Ripper is involved. Pretty slapstick but I enjoyed reading it. Probably not meant to be read by my middle schoolers.
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    Closer to 3 1/2 stars. It was an entertaining, quick read but nothing exceptional.
  • Tony
    January 1, 1970
    King, John R. THE SHADOW OF REICHENBACH FALLS. (2008). **1/2. This novel starts out as a solid four-star book, but the author must have eaten a bad meal towards the end, one full of hallucinogenic mushrooms. It starts out with the classic struggle of Sherlock Holmes with the evil Professor Moriarity at Reichenbach Falls, where Holmes, presumably, falls to his death. Turns out, though, that he is rescued by the daughter of Moriarity and a chance male acquantence, both out on a supposed picnic at King, John R. THE SHADOW OF REICHENBACH FALLS. (2008). **1/2. This novel starts out as a solid four-star book, but the author must have eaten a bad meal towards the end, one full of hallucinogenic mushrooms. It starts out with the classic struggle of Sherlock Holmes with the evil Professor Moriarity at Reichenbach Falls, where Holmes, presumably, falls to his death. Turns out, though, that he is rescued by the daughter of Moriarity and a chance male acquantence, both out on a supposed picnic at the time of the struggle. Moriarity’s daughter, Anna, though, is there on purpose: she is trying to keep her father from doing further evil deeds. She and the young man rescue Holmes at the base of the Falls, but Homes has lost all memory of who he is. He is called Harold Silence, from the name of his tailor on his jacket, by both Anna and her friend. As they begin to make their way away from the Falls, Moriarity begins to take chase – trying to finish off the job using his cane cum rifle. Both Holmes and the young man are wounded, but all escape finally. Now we are treated to selections from Moriarity’s journal. We learn that he was a respected professor of mathematics at Jesus College, Cambridge, and ultimately married a young woman whom he had found in the streets and brought up as an educated apprentice. Together they developed algorithms that defined the nature of mankind, and, ultimately, his wife, Suzanne (a much better mathematician that he), worked out the structure of London’s underworld. Together they helped to collapse that underworld, but Moriarity got distracted. He encountered Jack the Ripper. Jack did not fit the mathematical equations that they had developed. Moriarity then began to track The Ripper, and ultimately killed him. But...as he was killing him, a dust of “pure evil” left Jack’s body and entered into the professor’s. That’s why he turned so evil. More silliness follows until the ultimate silliness that ends the book. Skip this one.
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    This review is listed under Project Sherlock. For more information on the project, click here.Review posted on my blog The Writer's Library.This novel fought hard for the position as my favorite Holmes pastiche - a position that currently belongs to a novel commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate (of which there are two books and I'm not revealing which one is my favorite) - with all of the hold-your-breath and heart-rending moments. It clearly was trying so hard and it just.... fell flat for me This review is listed under Project Sherlock. For more information on the project, click here.Review posted on my blog The Writer's Library.This novel fought hard for the position as my favorite Holmes pastiche - a position that currently belongs to a novel commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate (of which there are two books and I'm not revealing which one is my favorite) - with all of the hold-your-breath and heart-rending moments. It clearly was trying so hard and it just.... fell flat for me. When you want to write a good tribute to a classic character, it has to be believable. It was believable, in the beginning. But if you want to write a Holmes pastiche, it's a really good idea to not let your imagination completely take over. The only Holmes story that had even a hint of ghosts turned out to have a perfectly logical explanation, and was true to the Holmes style, and this story veered off of the face of common sense and was no longer a feasible tribute to the great detective. I enjoyed the return of Holmes and Moriarty, and I enjoyed Harry Silence - even though after a while I felt that that character was being a bit overused and I hoped Holmes would be fully restored. I enjoyed Moriarty's memoir and understood why it had to be told and I liked the appearance of John Watson, though I would have liked to see Holmes reunite with him. (I understand why it didn't happen, but it bothered me that they were literally just paces away from reuniting and it didn't go through.) A bit too fantastical to be a true Holmes story, but it kept me turning the pages, always anticipating what was to happen next. Project: Sherlock is complete. To see the rankings, click here.
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  • Patrick Book
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like this book. I wanted to like it so badly. But it turns out that was simply not possible. This story purports to carry on the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the greatest detective literature has ever known. But instead of offering a clever continuation of the master logician and observer, King takes this beloved character and skull-humps his legacy into an unrecognizable pile of nonsense. Less a detective story than a lazy, half-baked occult tale, King picks up where AC Doyle left I wanted to like this book. I wanted to like it so badly. But it turns out that was simply not possible. This story purports to carry on the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the greatest detective literature has ever known. But instead of offering a clever continuation of the master logician and observer, King takes this beloved character and skull-humps his legacy into an unrecognizable pile of nonsense. Less a detective story than a lazy, half-baked occult tale, King picks up where AC Doyle left off: with Holmes and his nemesis Moriarty plunging over the titular waterfall/cliff to their certain demise. Except... Holmes lives, though he is stricken with a severe amnesia and can't remember who he even is. Great premise, but it's all downhill from here. Instead of positing what the world's most brilliant sleuth might become when stripped of his memory, this book reads like a dashed-off screenplay for a third-rate action movie. Every second chapter sees Holmes and his companions not gathering clues or solving problems, but rather escaping from preposterous dangers in even more ludicrous ways. This is Holmes as played by Vin Diesel in a film directed by Michael Bay. There's little detecting and even less logic. It's as though Kong wrote this book with the Robert Downey Jr movie as his only exposure to Holmes. And that's BEFORE you add the completely unnecessary shortcut that is the "occult" twist. It makes me angry just thinking about it, honestly. If you're looking for a Holmes adventure this is absolutely not it. This is embarrassing pulp that's a half-step away from young adult vampire nonsense. I don't know of Arthur Conan Doyle has any descendants left but if I was one of them of sue this hack for mangling Holmes' legacy (though I suppose the character is in the public domain by now). GARBAGE.
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  • Rena Sherwood
    January 1, 1970
    Such a load of crap in OH so many ways. Let's just look at the highlights, shall we?1) You need to not only read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories but also all of the stories of an obscure Edwardian character called Thomas Carnacki. He appeared in a grand total of 6 (six) short stories. Never heard of him? There's a good reason for that -- he's completely forgettable.2) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle repeatedly wrote that Sherlock Holmes had grey/gray eyes. So what color are they here? SILVER. My god - Such a load of crap in OH so many ways. Let's just look at the highlights, shall we?1) You need to not only read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories but also all of the stories of an obscure Edwardian character called Thomas Carnacki. He appeared in a grand total of 6 (six) short stories. Never heard of him? There's a good reason for that -- he's completely forgettable.2) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle repeatedly wrote that Sherlock Holmes had grey/gray eyes. So what color are they here? SILVER. My god -- it's like he's a Cyberman or something.3) Alternate versions of the fight at Reichenbach Falls have been done to death -- or in this case, to death and back. Knock it off and write something else about the Canon, will you, pastiche writers? Pretty please with sugar on top?4) At one or more points the characters eat raw carrots. This jars with what I've been reading about Victorian life, where raw vegetables were seen as unhealthy. So they were cooked to death to make sure all the cooties died with them.5) That whole magic being real thing. Sherlock Holmes says in one of the Doyle stories, "No ghosts need apply." Apparently King forgot about that.Nice cover though, ennit?
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  • Joe White
    January 1, 1970
    The author needs to develop his own characters and surround them with his original stories. In this case, there is a Sherlock presence, but that character doesn't actually play a leading part, and while his mannerisms give the effect of the Holmes presence, the story lacks the characteristic traits of observation of details and CLUES, cogitations, and the final deductive actions of a Conan Doyle book. There are no clues for the avid Holmes reader in this book. Instead it presents a chase sequenc The author needs to develop his own characters and surround them with his original stories. In this case, there is a Sherlock presence, but that character doesn't actually play a leading part, and while his mannerisms give the effect of the Holmes presence, the story lacks the characteristic traits of observation of details and CLUES, cogitations, and the final deductive actions of a Conan Doyle book. There are no clues for the avid Holmes reader in this book. Instead it presents a chase sequence fit for a James Bond action scene, followed by a retelling of a Jack the Ripper alternate historical sequence. At 5/7's of the way into the book, Holmes remembers who he is, but has to read about his past exploits in a French library in order to rebuild his memories. At that point, the reader who is expecting a Holmesian novel is dumped into a supernatural finale sequence where the evil spirit that had invaded Moriarty's body and was driving his actions and thoughts, invades Holmes' body and uses his body and prestige for its own initiatives of evil. The writer here is just performing literary theft of historical fictional characters to lure readers to his plotlines. His style is completely narrative in approach, and might generate an acceptable action or supernatural fiction series, but doesn't come anywhere near the measure required to follow Conan Doyle and do justice to his characters or writing technique.
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  • Fatima Z.
    January 1, 1970
    The Shadow of ReichenBach Falls by John F. King is a fascinating mystery about the one and only Sherlock Homes, only in this story he is renamed Silence. Homes is given this name after losing his memory when he was pushed by his archenemy and demon-possessed criminal mastermind James Moriarty off a cliff. After his fall, he is saved by two young strangers, who were strangers to each other too, Thomas Carnacki, a homeless traveler, former student of science and the beautiful and brilliant, Anna M The Shadow of ReichenBach Falls by John F. King is a fascinating mystery about the one and only Sherlock Homes, only in this story he is renamed Silence. Homes is given this name after losing his memory when he was pushed by his archenemy and demon-possessed criminal mastermind James Moriarty off a cliff. After his fall, he is saved by two young strangers, who were strangers to each other too, Thomas Carnacki, a homeless traveler, former student of science and the beautiful and brilliant, Anna Moriarty. They go on a manhunt, while they are being hunted by Moriarty, aka Anna's father who wants to get revenge on Homes for bringing down his crime empire. They travel to Paris where they continue to try to bring Moriarty down, only to have Anna and her father die, while the demon who possessed him now possesses Homes. It was left to Thomas and Sherlocks' partner, Dr. Watson to stop kill the demon without killing Homes. After almost dying a few times and a few clever plans later, they do kill and capture the demon, using electrocution. I love mysteries, so naturally I love this one. The demonic possession isn't graphic and this book has a lot of realist science in it. So if you're a science lover, you'll come to appreciate it. If you like mysteries and like science then I recommend this book.
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  • Ron Arden
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun book. I just read a Laurie King book about an older Sherlock Holmes meeting a formidable female partner, so this one continued my love affair with Holmes. In this book, we are taken on a ride that questions what really happened at Reichenbach Falls when Holmes and Professor Moriarty had their final battle.Anna Schmidt and Thomas Carnacki, both of whom are not quite what they seem, save an amnesiatic Holmes from the river at the base of the falls. A game of cat and mouse ensues bet This was a fun book. I just read a Laurie King book about an older Sherlock Holmes meeting a formidable female partner, so this one continued my love affair with Holmes. In this book, we are taken on a ride that questions what really happened at Reichenbach Falls when Holmes and Professor Moriarty had their final battle.Anna Schmidt and Thomas Carnacki, both of whom are not quite what they seem, save an amnesiatic Holmes from the river at the base of the falls. A game of cat and mouse ensues between a killer and these three. Holmes nor his companions know who he is until the last 3rd of the book, but Holmes still shows us his deductive skills and cunning. The second part of the book is Anna telling us about her father's life and how she and he came to be in Switzerland. This is a fascinating look at Professor Moriarty and one theory on how he came to be the evil genius of the London underworld that is portrayed in the Conan Doyle stories.The 3rd part of the book brings all the main characters together and throws quite a few surprises and twists into the plot. The ending is positive, but sad too. This was a great page turner and I flew through it in a day.
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  • Terry
    January 1, 1970
    It turns out that Watson got the details of Holmes and Moriarty's confrontation at Reichenbach Falls wrong not once, but twice. It was Holmes who was thrown over the Falls, not Moriarty. Luckily Holmes is rescued by the picnicking Thomas Carnacki and Anna Schmidt -- although the accident has robbed him of his memory. The trio are immediately set upon by Moriarty and it's not long before Holmes is imprisoned in a sanitarium, Carnacki is gravely wounded, and Anna reveals herself to be the conflict It turns out that Watson got the details of Holmes and Moriarty's confrontation at Reichenbach Falls wrong not once, but twice. It was Holmes who was thrown over the Falls, not Moriarty. Luckily Holmes is rescued by the picnicking Thomas Carnacki and Anna Schmidt -- although the accident has robbed him of his memory. The trio are immediately set upon by Moriarty and it's not long before Holmes is imprisoned in a sanitarium, Carnacki is gravely wounded, and Anna reveals herself to be the conflicted daughter of the evil Professor Moriarty.It's a thrilling set-up which is derailed by the middle of the book which contains the memoir of Professor Moriarty. Here we learn of his background, how he came to learn the calculus of crime and his corruption from Cambridge professor to Napoleon of Crime -- which copies the classic Star Trek episode "Wolf in the Fold" down to its Jack the Ripper tie-in.By pairing Holmes with Thomas Carnacki, a paranormal detective created by William Hope Hodgson, readers expect a supernatural mystery. But the book gets lost in pseudoscience. Whatever promise The Shadow of Reichenbach Falls showed in the beginning is lost as one ridiculous event follows another.
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  • Amanda Butler
    January 1, 1970
    A unique look at the "missing years" between "The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of the Empty House". The characters & storyline are well developed and very intense.However, allow me to post a warning to those readers out there that like "lighter" reading. TSRF takes the view that the Jack the Ripper Murders, the reason for J. Moriarty's ability to become the "Napoleon of Crime" is because these men were possessed by a demon know as a "divine horseman" - which is connected to Voodoo demon A unique look at the "missing years" between "The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of the Empty House". The characters & storyline are well developed and very intense.However, allow me to post a warning to those readers out there that like "lighter" reading. TSRF takes the view that the Jack the Ripper Murders, the reason for J. Moriarty's ability to become the "Napoleon of Crime" is because these men were possessed by a demon know as a "divine horseman" - which is connected to Voodoo demonic possession, not one of the horsemen found in the book of Revelation. Nor is the demon possession Biblical - and the heroes of the story can exorcise the demon by hooking up the possessed person to a hand-cranked electric generator. (????) While this is NOT on the level of horror of Frank Peretti, it's still a little creepy, more along the lines of the Biblical account of the demons going into the herd of pigs instead.Overall, the story was excellent, but I don't think it will be joining my permanent Sherlock Holmes collection. The metaphysics & sci-fi elements make me think that it would do well on the Sci-Fi channel, but I really wasn't that impressed.
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  • Travis
    January 1, 1970
    A prime example of a good idea, done badly.Fished out after his fall over the Reichenbach Falls, Sherlock Holmes, now suffering from amnesia is rescued by the young Thomas Carnacki.The two famous literary detectives then go on the run from Professor Moriarty.But, all is not as it seems....!For a team up junkie like myself, this should have been a classic. Instead it's a overly dramatic mish-mash that tries too hard to be clever while capturing the feel of victorian adventure novels of the past.T A prime example of a good idea, done badly.Fished out after his fall over the Reichenbach Falls, Sherlock Holmes, now suffering from amnesia is rescued by the young Thomas Carnacki.The two famous literary detectives then go on the run from Professor Moriarty.But, all is not as it seems....!For a team up junkie like myself, this should have been a classic. Instead it's a overly dramatic mish-mash that tries too hard to be clever while capturing the feel of victorian adventure novels of the past.The story jumps from point of view to point of view without bothering to explain who is talking. Then all of a sudden, the story jumps twenty years into the past and drags down the story while it tries to explain Professor Moriarty. But, again it's badly done and does more to dilute the evil Professor and Holmes history than add to it.Plus, the author misses out some great opportunities to insert cameos by other literary characters and instead invents new characters which add nothing to the story.Even worse it ends with an obvious set up for the sequel.
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  • C.O. Bonham
    January 1, 1970
    Before you read this book find the Star Trek Episode "Wolf in the Fold" and watch it. The plot line is completely taken from that one episode of Star Trek. I loved the scenes with an Amnesiac Sherlock Holmes and made the book worth reading. It was fast paced and well written. The story is in three parts: Holmes without his memory, Moriarty trying to justify his evilness, and Holmes with his memory. I would tell you to skip the middle part except that one key plot device is located there. I hate Before you read this book find the Star Trek Episode "Wolf in the Fold" and watch it. The plot line is completely taken from that one episode of Star Trek. I loved the scenes with an Amnesiac Sherlock Holmes and made the book worth reading. It was fast paced and well written. The story is in three parts: Holmes without his memory, Moriarty trying to justify his evilness, and Holmes with his memory. I would tell you to skip the middle part except that one key plot device is located there. I hate ruining endings and maybe the Star Trek hint is already too much but really! Jack the Ripper! Why do stories set in the victorian era always have Jack the bloody Ripper?Kirk needed a Wide Dispersion Transporter beam to get rid of him. Interestingly enough Sherlock Holmes uses a simerlar method to vanquish his demonic foe.Very off Canon but I think that Holmes Spiritualist Creator would approve.
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    This book was well written and very entertaining. I am sure if I were a major Sherlock Holmes fan, I would appreciate it much more and would have given it 4 or 5 stars. As I am not, I didn't have that emotional response (either delight or deep satisfaction or even joy, etc.) I feel I need in order to rate it higher. I am fairly sure I didn't catch all of the subtleties of this book since I am unfamiliar with the Sherlock Holmes canon (did Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes truly die at Reichenbach Fal This book was well written and very entertaining. I am sure if I were a major Sherlock Holmes fan, I would appreciate it much more and would have given it 4 or 5 stars. As I am not, I didn't have that emotional response (either delight or deep satisfaction or even joy, etc.) I feel I need in order to rate it higher. I am fairly sure I didn't catch all of the subtleties of this book since I am unfamiliar with the Sherlock Holmes canon (did Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes truly die at Reichenbach Falls?--if only I knew the answer to that, I suspect this would have been way more fun). The reason I picked this up is because it came across as witty, sly, creative and tongue in cheek. In that I was not the least disappointed. If more adventures featuring Mr. Carnacki come along, I will be happy to read them.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    This is more 2-1/2 stars than 3 but I'm being generous since the author is from Wisconsin and it had its entertaining moments. It does have an interesting start/premise with a young man finding an amnesiac Sherlock Holmes after his tumble down the Reichenbach, and the plot does move along briskly but I was seriously annoyed by the point of view switching back and forth every chapter (1st person Thomas! 1st person Holmes! 3rd person Anna! 1st person Moriarty's diary!) and the ending just got sill This is more 2-1/2 stars than 3 but I'm being generous since the author is from Wisconsin and it had its entertaining moments. It does have an interesting start/premise with a young man finding an amnesiac Sherlock Holmes after his tumble down the Reichenbach, and the plot does move along briskly but I was seriously annoyed by the point of view switching back and forth every chapter (1st person Thomas! 1st person Holmes! 3rd person Anna! 1st person Moriarty's diary!) and the ending just got silly. I don't mind supernatural aspects being introduced in a seemingly straight historical fictional story (see Colin Cotterill's Siri Paiboun mysteries) but all I can say is...well, it would make an awesome SyFy movie! I would totally watch that! :D Birthday present from Laura B :)
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    On a personal level, it deserves 3 stars (for re-igniting latent Sherlock Holmes & Thomas Carnacki interest). The story is a fun ride, but I found the writing inconsistent and not very faithful to the era (yep, that dropped the stars to 2 right there). Moriarty's backstory & (repeatedly-remarked-upon-as) bold daughter are the most memorable. I'm inclined to think it to be a YA read [note: am under-exposed to current YA reads, and was reading Doyle & King when I was a YA, forwhatevert On a personal level, it deserves 3 stars (for re-igniting latent Sherlock Holmes & Thomas Carnacki interest). The story is a fun ride, but I found the writing inconsistent and not very faithful to the era (yep, that dropped the stars to 2 right there). Moriarty's backstory & (repeatedly-remarked-upon-as) bold daughter are the most memorable. I'm inclined to think it to be a YA read [note: am under-exposed to current YA reads, and was reading Doyle & King when I was a YA, forwhatevertheehellthatsworth].
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    The scene of the infamous battle between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Moriarty, this book tells us what led up Moriarty's descent into a life of crime, the battle of wits between him and Holmes, and the aftermath of the struggle at Reichenbach Falls.This was an excellent action and suspense novel. It was a little weak with the introduction of a supernatural factor, I won't say where or how so as not to spoil it.
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  • Jbsfaculty
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book, although it lost me a bit at the end. The author imagines what happened when Sherlock Holmes was rescued from Reichenbach Falls, and in doing so provides a back story for Moriarty, also introducing his daughter. It gets into the supernatural towards the end, which is where my interest waned.
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    This was more of a 2.5 star book, but I'll err on the side of being generous. The first third of the book was really quite interesting and the start of the background on Moriarty was also quite well done. However, once the occult got brought in, I quickly lost interest and only finished the book out of a sense of duty.
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  • Angela Misri
    January 1, 1970
    This book had me all the way to the end where it took a supernatural turn and I just ... didn't like it. I gave it a three star review because it was so good and so fun for the first 2/3 of the book. But the last third was disappointing. Sorry. Well written but a cheat in terms of solving the mystery.
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  • Barbra
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! I don't know where to begin, this book ran the gambit of story lines, from chase scenes to paranormal to battle with the devil, and finally taking the ghost of one of the main characters with you at the end. If this type of story interests you I say go for it, but for me it was too much work trying to stay focused on what the story was all about.
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  • Read1000books
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited about this book, it had such potential but it turned out to be a shameful waste of paper. The worst Sherlockian pastiche I've ever read. The only redeeming quality was the hilarious laughter I experienced while reading the flying bed-pans and screams in the "Clarice" scene in the insane asylum.
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  • Darlene Cypser
    January 1, 1970
    This book was very poorly researched and written. It is an example of an "interesting idea" for a book that is not given the proper time and attention to make it a good book. It is rife with factual errors. The most obvious is the "hansom" ride to Reichenbach Fall and back. Obviously the author knew nothing about hansom cabs or the route to Reichenbach Falls.
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  • Margaret
    January 1, 1970
    At least it was a quick read. Actually the first section was decent, but the middle section . . . Isn't everyone tired of trying to explain/solve the Jack the Ripper crimes? I guess a demon possessed sailor is a good enough solution and, well, I should have known that if one of the characters was a ghost hunter that there would probably be pentagrams, voodoo, and demon spirits.
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  • Liviu
    January 1, 1970
    Disappointing; starts great but then degenerates in farce; chases and action of a B movie; the Moriarty sequence is the same; starts great and then it degenerates in cheap melodramaHas flashes of greatness which show how good his novel could have been; this and the Holmesian lore save this novel from being a total loss for me
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  • Kimberlee Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this until the explanation of Moriarty's conversion to evil, etc. I almost completely lost interest soon thereafter, but I did finish the book. I gave it an average of three stars: four for the first half and two for the second half.
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