In the late seventies an extraordinary document came to light which for fifty years had been held on deposit by the bankers of the deceased John Herbert Watson MD - better known to devotees of Conan Doyle as Dr Watson.
A continuous narrative in the doctor’s own hand, the story opens in the East End of London in 1888. Three women have been savagely murdered by Jack the Ripper. To calm the public outcry, Scotland Yard approaches London’s most eminent detective, Sherlock Holmes, and asks him to investigate the mystery.
The adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective and his faithful companion Dr Watson are given a new and thrilling treatment by Michael Dibdin.
©1978 Michael Dibdin (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
The book is well written in a very Holmes-ish style that lovers of the genre will enjoy.
However, the absolute best thing about this story is that at the conclusion you are left with a decision. Do you accept the analysis and conclusion that is offered or will you consider and seek an alternative? If you read closely the reality of the twist isn't as obvious as people seem to think it is. The real question presented at the beginning and end of the novel is whether you accept Dr. Watson's version of events. Dr. Watson doesn't have all the facts and ultimately makes a decision based on what he knows, given the same information will you come to the same conclusion he did?
Its a wonderful addition to the Sherlock Holmes genre that really explores the Holmes/Watson Relationship in deeper and greater ways! I heartily recommend.
Divorce attorney needing a break from reality!
Dr. Watson had all the emotion, depth of understanding, humility and other pillars of character that one would want in a main character. Sherlock Holmes was also well drawn out in my mind.
While I had guessed the premise of the book early on, the ending was not something I would have guessed. I enjoyed the character development and left the book with a good feeling of accomplishment (as if I also had went on the journey with the characters). Read it!
not writing it
The narrator was OK, just the story was really stupid.
I figured how the "mystery" would resolve from the first chapter. It was also just pointlessly gruesome.
"If you love Holmes you'll HATE this"
Shame on you Mr Dibdin.
As a lifelong Holmes fan I'm afraid this book actually made me angry and left me feeling curiously saddened by the experience!
I endured it to the end thinking there must be some clever twist to the plot coming, and the author SURELY wasn't trying to do what he appeared to be doing.
I've listened to a variety of non-Conan-Doyle Holmes stories over the years, (through gritted teeth sometimes!) as some are definitely better than others. However, the others have at the very least, attempted to stay true to character and make them entertaining for Holmes fans to read.
After all, who's going to buy a 'new' Sherlock Holmes book other than people who wish Conan-Doyle had written twice as many?
This book takes a much loved fictional character and utterly trashes it.
Honestly in this instance I wouldn't even give it the benefit of the doubt. If you love Sherlock Holmes, you WILL hate this.
Save your money - you'll thank me.
And if you're NOT a Holmes fan, well grudgingly I suppose it's feasible you may not utterly hate it - it starts well. And Robert Glenister's narration is fine. I think that's as kind as I can be.
"The darkest and the most sinister"
The murderous, psychopathic Holmes.
It is probably the most unlikely of the Sherlock Holmes tales. My feeling of uneasiness and disbelief grew stronger as the story developed, but hoped that there was a clever twist to it right up to the end. The beloved champion of the law is mercilessly desecrated and left me feeling almost angry. Conan Doyle must be turning in his grave...
"A dull experience"
I found this very disappointing. Dibdin seems to have taken the weakest points of Conan Doyle's writing style and amplified them ten-fold. Perhaps it is meant to amuse? If so, I'm not sure how - plotting is bafflingly obvious and the result is just dull. Poor old Watson is portrayed as a complete dim-wit and spineless to boot. I'd advise reading and/or listening to the originals - vastly better.
Yet another 'Jack the Ripper' story and although the book is interesting in its ACDoyle style the plot was obvious from early on in the listening. It became more rambling and repetitive and 2 hours before the conclusion we gave up.
The reader was very good though.
"Wow ! Amazing"
I forgot that I wasn't listen to a Conan Doyle. This is an excellent book. It was a joy to be taken back into the world of Mr Holmes and Watson. The fact that it starts with a modern day descendant of Dr Watson finding papers is inspired. Cannot recommend this highly enough.
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