‘He knew it would answer some questions while raising more’
The quote above says everything about my experience reading this novel. A book that races along apace with a question seemingly answered but instantly followed by a deeper and darker mystery, tantalising the enquiring mind with the turn of the next page.
I wasn’t sure whether I would enjoy spending time with Mycroft Holmes but I am grateful to the authors for presenting a new side of Mycroft. Not just a fantastic brain and a virtuoso of observation but also a caring and concerned friend, brother and fiancé and I am much the richer for finding out more about him. Deeply in love with his fiancée and fiercely loyal to his friend and to his brother, the inner voice of Mycroft, not always heard previously, adds so much to this complex mystery. Not only is one examining the story but also the intense character of Mycroft himself.
Written by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse, the story opens with the curious deaths of several children on a Caribbean island who have apparently been killed by spirits. With the island in turmoil, Mycroft follows his fiancée who rushes home to her family following the events in her homeland. This pursuit leads Mycroft and his close friend Cyrus Douglas to their potential doom and a ruthless enemy who will stop at nothing to keep secrets hidden.
Written with so much care, it is clear that the authors are true Holmesians. This is apparent in every street, every sentence of dialogue and the twists and mis-steps that ensure that this novel is not put down until the last page. It is all that one would hope for from a story based on such an iconic character. There is no second guessing the outcome for the protagonists or even the solution to the mystery and that is so key to the Holmes reading experience. The London streets as well as the Trinidadian island and seas are so stunningly depicted and credible, Mycroft was always in a safe pair of writing hands. There are no spare parts to this book, there would be no bits that could be left on the cutting room floor. In the no-nonsense style of both Mycroft and Holmes, each word has been chosen with care and each detail carefully observed and described. There is nothing predictable about this book and the suspense is unrelenting.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar first came across Sherlock Holmes in the movies but on receipt of the books when an NBA rookie, he was ‘hooked’. He even used the observation techniques described by Conan Doyle to enhance his game. His ‘love affair’ has now ‘come full circle; that first rookie road trip culminated in a stay at Vacation Village in San Diego, which is where we made the deal last year to pen this story of Mycroft Holmes’.
The pairing of Waterhouse and Abdul-Jabbar is certainly a dream team worthy of the name. Taking on iconic characters is always a risky business, particularly when there is a following like that of Holmes. Both authors come from prestigious backgrounds, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of course is a well-known NBA player, and one could be forgiven for being sceptical of an athlete penning a book like this until you realise that he is an established author in his own right and also a US Cultural Ambassador. Anna Waterhouse is an award winning producer and writer and a professional screenwriter and script consultant.
I loved this book and will be re-reading it as I know there will be more to appreciate the second time around.
GS Rating: 5/5
GS Blogger: The Aviator