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The House of Silk | [Anthony Horowitz]

The House of Silk

It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks.
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Publisher's Summary

THE GAME'S AFOOT... It is November 1890 and London is gripped by a merciless winter. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are enjoying tea by the fire when an agitated gentleman arrives unannounced at 221b Baker Street. He begs Holmes for help, telling the unnerving story of a scar-faced man with piercing eyes who has stalked him in recent weeks. Intrigued by the man's tale, Holmes and Watson find themselves swiftly drawn into a series of puzzling and sinister events, stretching from the gas-lit streets of London to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston. As the pair delve deeper into the case, they stumble across a whispered phrase 'the House of Silk': a mysterious entity and foe more deadly than any Holmes has encountered, and a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society itself. With devilish plotting and excellent characterisation, bestselling author Anthony Horowitz delivers a first-rate Sherlock Holmes mystery for a modern readership whilst remaining utterly true to the spirit of the original Conan Doyle books. Sherlock Holmes is back with all the nuance, pace and powers of deduction that make him the world's greatest and most celebrated detective.

©2011 Anthony Horowitz (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (100 )
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4.4 (86 )
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  •  
    Roxalanne Canberra, Australia 11-13-11
    Roxalanne Canberra, Australia 11-13-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Recommended as a welcome return"

    What a pleasure to have a new Sherlock Holmes adventure to enjoy, written in the true Conan Doyle style and as complicated and enthralling as usual.

    This tale is rather darker in places than Holmes tales with which we are familiar. Nowadays some subjects can be addressed which Conan Doyle, in his time, could not mention although he would not have been unaware. This is perfectly acceptable and it is only fitting that the genre can be updated in this way, but it may seem strange to modern readers who do not realise the innocent ignorance of so many in the Victorian era.

    It is good to have such a distinguished narrator as Derek Jacobi, a pleasure to hear and who even managed to make Holmes a fraction more likeable. At least Holmes seemed to be a little kinder to Watson, a change long overdue.








    .

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Gymea Bay, Australia 11-28-11
    Jodie Gymea Bay, Australia 11-28-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Surprisingly impressive"

    I truly did wonder if anyone could quite match Conan Doyle when writing a new Sherlock Holmes - so many have tried and failed, however this was fantastic. It was very true to Conan Doyle's style and character but still different enough for Horowitz to be true to himself as a writer. It was a great story with enough twists and turns (as one would expect from Sherlock Holmens) to keep you listening.

    Derek Jacobi was an excellent choice as narrator, he has the perfect voice and accent for this story, injecting just enough difference for each character to keep it interesting without being overly theatrical.

    Well done Horowitz, you've done an excellent job, I'm sure Conan Doyle would be proud and thrilled with how you have taken his character and 'run with it'. I look forward to many many more Sherlock Holmes stories from you.

    I highly recommend this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 11-20-11
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 11-20-11 Member Since 2008

    Audiobook addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Much an Homage"

    If you are a fan of the Sherlock Holmes's stories, you are going to like this very much. Horowitz does an excellent job of echoing the Conan Doyle voice. In Sherlockian tradition, the narration is through the POV of Watson and all the familiar recurring characters put in an appearance.

    The plot is also very much in the tradition. It starts with a smaller story and the tentacles of the mystery spread out to create a far wider tale with grave implications for welfare of the nation.

    As an homage it is faultless. The only reason I didn't give the story 5 stars is because I would very much like to see a 21st century take on Sherlock. I'm not sure how much we need yet another Conan Doyle copy. I'm hoping that some day someone will do what, for instance, Frank Miller did with Batman. Take the characters in the original and look at them from a different angle, offering another perspective or more depth.

    This definitely isn't one of those approaches. It honors the original slavishly. And Jacobi's narration is perfect. Just perfect.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 11-18-11
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 11-18-11 Member Since 2009

    When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A perfect Sherlock Holmes novel"

    An aged Dr. Watson remembers a story of his friend, Sherlock Holmes, and shares it in his old age with the world. Anthony Horowitz were able to transport us back to Sherlock Holmes' London to escourt him and Dr. Watson on one of his most difficult adventures to date. While paying homage to the Athur Conan Doyle style of writing and using all the elements of a good Sherlock Holmes story, Horowitz also gives the reader a glimpse of his own take on this well-known detective. I thoroughly enjoyed this dubble twisted story. Derek Jacobi brings "The House of Silk" to life with his "Sherlockish" voice. This is an exellent book that will even satisfy the die-hard Arthur Conan Doyle supporters. In a certain way I do find this novel a bit more mature than some of Arthur Conan Doyle's own novels. A must read... listen!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Valencia, Spain 11-21-11
    Mike Valencia, Spain 11-21-11 Member Since 2001

    Likes resting his eyes...

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    "Reflections on Sherlock and ourselves..."

    Horowitz's novel is worthy of the name, presenting an insightful reworking of Conan Doyle's privileged acts onto a broader stage. Holmes' cold deduction is turned inwards and Watson chronicles are darkened with the consequences. The sequence and pacing lead and capture, enlivened all the more by Jacobi's prowess. A great pleasure - thank you!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andreas Sweden 11-11-11
    Andreas Sweden 11-11-11
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    "Wonderful to listen to and an intriguing story"

    A fantastic performance by Derek Jacobi reading this. It is a pure pleasure to listen to it.

    I was quite a time since last I read a Sherlock Holmes, but this has the same atmosphere as I remember from them.

    Truly enjoying

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Camilla Barberton, South Africa 12-27-11
    Camilla Barberton, South Africa 12-27-11
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    "Simply wonderful!"
    What made the experience of listening to The House of Silk the most enjoyable?

    Sherlock Holmes comes alive again à la Arthur Conan Doyle. Exciting story with an absolutely excellent narrator who makes all the characters seem so authentic. Easy on the ear with an English as


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The story is told from Dr Watson's point of view and it is this character who is the thread throughout the story. I loved his comments and observations on Holmes' personality.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended listening - I will certainly look out for more books by this narrator.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Brisbane, Australia 08-06-12
    Chris Brisbane, Australia 08-06-12 Member Since 2008
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    "not suitable for under 16yrs"
    Would you listen to The House of Silk again? Why?

    no


    If you’ve listened to books by Anthony Horowitz before, how does this one compare?

    well


    What does Derek Jacobi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    yes very well


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    yes a death of a character


    Any additional comments?

    the content is not suitable for the young

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Uralla, Australia 01-16-12
    Bill Uralla, Australia 01-16-12
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    "Typical Sherlock Holmes even if not by the origina"
    If you could sum up The House of Silk in three words, what would they be?

    Totally engrossing plots


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The House of Silk?

    The denouement in the house.


    Which character – as performed by Derek Jacobi – was your favorite?

    Mycroft Holmes


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Not for the squeamish !


    Any additional comments?

    Very well written and superbly read.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bee Sydney, Australia 10-18-13
    Bee Sydney, Australia 10-18-13 Member Since 2010

    Bee

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    "Modern voice for a well-loved charactwr"
    What did you love best about The House of Silk?

    Compelling story on an important global issue. Horowitz uses a modern voice with all the twist and turns of a suspenseful "on the edge of your seat" thriller.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Derek Jacobi is an excellent narrator who brings to life Sherlock Holmes and Watson.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The start of the story as it includes Watson reminiscing on Holmes and it reveals various interesting tidbits which fills in the gap on what happened to both of those main characters as they got on with the years. The chase scene towards the climax was action-filled & hilarious.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth the time and credit spent listening to this wonderful story & talented narration by Derek Jacobi. Anthony Horowitz does justice to Arthur Conan Doyle's characters whilst tackling an important global issue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 12 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    6/22/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "I think Conan Doyle would approve"

    I was wary of buying this book as I feared that the author couldn't match Conan Doyle's inventiveness of plot. However, I was wrong: it's an excellent, intricate and satisfyingly complicated story that kept me gripped and eager to find out what happened next. Those of you who have read/listened to Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books will take pleasure in the allusions to characters from the original series that are grafted into this homage to a master of detective fiction. The pleasure of this audio version is greatly enhanced by Derek Jacobi's lively narration and ability to mimic many different accents.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Ms Lixie
    London, United Kingdom
    11/5/11
    Overall
    "Well read but..."

    I have loved all the Sherlock Holmes stories since I was a child and so was interested to see what this author had made of it. The story consists of three threads which start promisingly but soon become rather sensationalist. It reminded me a lot of how ITV have treated recent Poirot and Marple televisations - by adding in sex. You can see the revelations coming a mile off and all I could think as I listened was "Really? You're going 'there' with this?". If the author had created a new character and written this story it would have been fine. Instead we get a story which will make a lovely Hollywood film giving Robert Downey Junior a chance to show his acting repertoire as Holmes cycles through the full range of emotions.

    Having said that - once you give up the idea that this is supposed to be "remaining utterly true to the spirit of the original Conan Doyle books" as the blurb describes it, this is actually an entertaining story and Derek Jacobi reads it very well. But if you are looking for something more in keeping with the original I would look at Donald Thomas. His audiobooks are also well read and although he does get tied up in descriptions sometimes, the stories are interesting without being attention seeking.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    Melton Mowbray, United Kingdom
    12/5/11
    Overall
    "A Good Listen"

    An inventive story that is mostly faithful to the original style of A C D.I would agree that sometimes a 21st century perspective slips in but this doesn't seriously detract from a rattling paced narrative and ingenious plotting. I did guess one puzzle straight away but not the final couple of plot twists.
    Derek Jacobi's masterly narration does the story credit but who knew he can't do a Scottish accent?!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • S Wood
    11/12/11
    Overall
    "In the Holmes Tradition"

    I have throughly enjoyed lustening to this book. Dubious at first as books in the "spirit of " are usually a second class rehash I have been pleasantly surprised. The characters, sets & plot are well rooted in the Sherlock Holmes tradition. Unfortunately you do see the authors 21st century sensibilities coming out and there is the too obvious references to sex.
    Sir Derek Jacobi is a delight to listen to, bringing an excitement to the story. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys crime fiction

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • L
    IPSWICH, United Kingdom
    2/25/12
    Overall
    "a ripping yarn"

    Very entertaining and beguiling, Watson's tone convincingly adopted and the relationship between him and Holmes one of the most enjoyable parts of the book. There are two mysteries, one leading into the other: one is nicely erudite and typical, the other quite gothic and brilliantly unnerving - you almost believe it probably did happen (without giving too much away). Sometimes Watson is infuriatingly dim and Holmes so brilliant, no wonder he has to keep going off to prison/hiding etc otherwise the mystery would be solved in ten pages - then again, Watson is incredibly courageous and I love his pondorous, reassuringly correct and deliberate style. Some of the plot developments were heavy handed, and there were a couple of moments that stetched credibility - perhaps in this case the author was simply remaining true to the original - but don't let those glitches put you off, as it is on the whole extremely satisfying, quite haunting and unusually emotional.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Alton, Hamshire
    2/21/12
    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this - probably the best fiction audiobook I've listened to for a number of years. Although I'm not a Holmes expert, the book seemed authentic enough to me and the tale was gripping, and occasionally shocking. It's just a pity he's not writing another instalment. Excellent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus
    London, United Kingdom
    1/1/12
    Overall
    "If you like Sherlock you'll like this"

    I haven't read many of the original books but I have seen plenty of the films and TV shows so this book felt like an authentic realisation of a Sherlock story.  The story has a hint of modern sensibilities but I enjoyed it and the final revelations.  It does help that I'm never any good at guessing whodunit.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Anne
    Holywell, United Kingdom
    11/8/11
    Overall
    "Word perfect"

    I really enjoyed this listen, the story was beautifully, word-perfectly read by Mr Jacobi - not just read, enacted. The book is also beautifully, word-perfectly written by Mr Horowitz, but despite the rich atmosphere and historic detail, I did feel the author's 21st century sensibilities seeping through and was disappointed with the overall premise of the story and the way some of the clues were clumsily flagged up too early. Despite that, I would whole-heartedly recommend this.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Kirsty
    London, United Kingdom
    1/17/12
    Overall
    "An edge of your seat book.... right to the end!"

    This book is the best that I have read/listened to in a very long time. I was gripped to the very end and I still never managed to guess the twists! Completely rate this book..... everyone should listen to it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Carolyn
    Flogny-La-Chapelle, France
    11/23/11
    Overall
    "Better than Conan Doyle himself? Probably."

    This is one of the best Sherlock Homes stories I've heard ..... and it's written by a different author than the original. It maintains that which we love most about Holmes, his almost uncanny instinct for the detection, his insights and understanding of psychology, whilst achieving a pace and drama that is more in keeping with modern thrillers. And yet the 'voice' is perfect. One never doubts that this is Dr Watson retelling the tale in the London of the late nineteenth century. Brilliantly done.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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