TITLE: The Complete Sherlock Holmes (The Valley Of Fear)
AUTHOR: Arthur Conan Doyle
SERIES: Sherlock Holmes (#7)
PUBLISHER: Barnes & Noble Classics
GENRE: Mystery, Classics, Historical Fiction, Horror
RATING: 4/5 Stars
"Look down the valley! See the cloud of a hundred chimneys that overshadows it! I tell you that the cloud of murder hangs thicker and lower than that over the heads of the people. It is the Valley of Fear, the Valley of Death. The terror is in the hearts of the people from the dusk to the dawn."
So declares a resident of a mining town, where a sinister secret society maintains its stranglehold on the community with a series of violent crimes.
The mystery begins with a coded warning of imminent danger, drawing the illustrious Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr. Watson to a secluded English country home. A trail of bewildering clues--raincoats, dumbbells, a missing wedding ring — leads to sleuthing in the finest Holmesian tradition and the gripping backstory of a cult that terrorised a valley in an American eastern state. Crisp, realistic characterisations and a crackling suspenseful narrative make this novel a must-read for all lovers of mystery and detection as well as Sherlock Holmes fans.
What I Liked:
- As I said, this was a bit of a throwback to 'A Study In Scarlet' as it started with a mystery, solved the mystery, then provided backstory and context. I liked all 'sections' of the story, as it was almost like getting two stories in one!
- I often comment that the relationship between Holmes and Watson is one of my favourites but it really sparkled. Holmes reached sarcasm level 100 here and I loved it a lot!
What I Disliked:
- I was excited at the prospect of this story involving James Moriarty as he's a character I wanted to see more of! Unfortunately, he was only mentioned in reference and felt a little shoe-horned in I'm afraid. He was also responsible for the particularly abrupt ending of the story which I was a bit disappointed by.
This was a good addition to the 'Sherlock Holmes' universe and I liked the sleuthing alongside secret societies, murder and plenty of intrigue. Holmes and Watson must surely be the best detective duo around! It's a shame that there was so little of Moriarty and that the story ended so abruptly.