5 stars of 5 (and I wish I could give more)
I am usually not one to join in with the choirs of “well done”, “an absolute joy to read from start to finish” and/or “heaven” from The Guardian, the Washington Post and the like, because even under the best circumstances maybe only five percent of the books these “literature-savvy” newspapers and magazines praise as “TEH BEST BOOK EVAH” manage to rouse my interest.
“The House of Silk” is the exception, because as far as Sherlock Holmes pastiches go this book is absolutely brilliant and deserves every bit of praise it’s gotten.
Anthony Horowitz captures Watson’s voice perfectly, the atmosphere is decidedly Victorian and a bit on the darker side, the writing style is almost the same as Arthur Conan Doyle’s, but maybe a bit more “up to date”. That’s not to say that he uses a more present language as such, but e. g. there are no “ejaculations” anywhere. For which I’m really grateful, because while that might have been the proper way to speak and write in the late eighteen-hundreds, it’s nowadays an endless well of amusement (especially for twelve-year-olds, I’d imagine, but seriously, even grown-ups can have a field day with that one).
I realized pretty early on what happened to Keelan O’Donaghue and about half-way through I could guess what The House of Silk was about, but I actually missed a vital clue (and really, how could I have been so inattentive?), so the end had a little twist I haven’t seen coming.
All in all this really WAS an absolute joy to read from start to finish.
For everybody who loves the Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan Doyle a definite must-read.