Friday, 22 January 2016

A perfect Sherlock Holmes mystery: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

It was with a trepidation of expectation that I picked up The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz from a friend recently. Given my love of detective fiction, it was no surprise that I started reading it as soon as I got it home.

The House of Silk was, in every way, a satisfying read. Having read every single original Sherlock Holmes mystery, I found nothing in this canonical Holmes novel (a "fan fiction" approved by the Conan Doyle Estate, no less!) that jarred from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's narrative style. Dr. Watson's keen observation, the gentle revelation of the threads of the mystery, the deductive powers of Holmes - everything was perfectly done.

It is admirable how Horowitz managed to place the story right in the middle of the Sherlock Holmes narrative, with references to past and future cases and incidents. This went perfectly in line with Dr. Watson's constant references, in the original stories, of how he has had to conceal several stories for various reasons.

I also sensed in this book the Horowitz's need to better the originals - it may not have been conscious, but both the magnitude of the crime and the slow but steady unravelling of the mystery suggested that Horowitz was trying hard to both meet the expectations and surpass it. As a reader and a Holmes fan, I think he need not have fretted too much. He did the best job there could have been.

The House of Silk gave me a sense of eating the perfect iteration of the favourite food item usually made by your mother, from a stranger's kitchen. Horowitz may be a new writer for me, but I have already fallen in love with him! 
Post a Comment