Criminal Mastermind: Moriarty

Sherlock Holmes. These two words will grab my attention, and for good reason since I like the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories, the mousey rendition from my childhood in The Great Mouse Detective, the BBC series, and the Robert Downey Jr. films. You could say I’m pretty well initiated into the world of Holmes. Oh, and let’s not forget that when I studied abroad in London, I made sure to pop by 221 Baker Street. When I heard some buzz about Anthony Horowitz’s Moriarty, my inner fangirl had a (not so) quiet little moment and I knew that I’d have to read it–and much thanks to Shelf Awareness for my signed copy.

This Sherlockian story begins with an American Pinkerton agent, Frederick Chase, investigating the circumstances behind one of his men’s death while undercover in London, which places him right in the middle of the infamous Reichenbach Falls double death of Moriarty and Holmes. Chase, meeting resistance from the Swiss authorities, is introduced to Scotland Yard detective Athelney Jones; Jones has conducted investigations where Holmes consulted and solved the case, thus creating a sort of obsession in Jones to become as observant as Holmes. Together the men are investigating the death of Moriarty and murderous crime spree occurring in London under American emigrants direction, which was supposedly controlled by the “Napoleon of crime” Moriarty.

The narration was something I enjoyed and provided a nice reprieve from the conventional, commonplace narrative of today. The entire plot was well strung together and while I anticipated the twist (which I cannot divulge because it will spoil the book for anyone who still wants to read it), I was still taken along for the ride of deceit and intrigued to see what the next clue will be and where it will take the two men. The writing and story both make me sympathetic toward Moriarty, which is something that is quite rare and difficult to do (although for those heavily invested in fandoms, it can be an all too common practice, which I am fully aware of).

Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

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