Friday, 11 April 2014
Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Angel of the Opera by Sam Siciliano
The first thing to say, or rather warn, about this novel is that there is no Doctor Watson. Instead the story is narrated by a Doctor Henry Vernier, Holmes' French cousin. Unsurprisingly, this affected the story and it just didn't have the same dynamic without John - Henry performed the same function but something just felt missing. Henry's dismissal of Watson's writings as full of inaccuracies also does little to warm the reader to him. As for The Phantom I liked the fact that Holmes took his side, after all they are both outsiders, and you see more and more similarities between them as the book progresses. Including most of the characters from the Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera novel was a nice touch too.
I've been hit and miss lately with Sherlock Holmes stories by different authors; I loved Anthony Horowitz's The House of Silk (and today found out that he's writing another Holmes novel, Moriarty, due out in October - yippee!) but I gave up on an anthology of Holmes stories by various authors as I just couldn't get into them. The Angel of the Opera falls somewhere in between; I love the subject matter but it isn't compelling to read and it took me a fair few weeks to get through as it got cast aside in favour of more interesting reads.
3/5 stars: If you like your Sherlock Holmes stories to be loyal to the canon then this book is definitely not for you (but I would seriously recommend that you check out The House of Silk instead!) An interesting concept that falls a little flat in its execution.
Any new Sherlock Holmes novels that you would recommend?