I have fairly little interest in the Ripper murders. I don't quite get the people who want to sit there and pour over every aspect of the case, hoping that they can figure out, at long last!, who the killer was.
But though I have little interest in the actual case, I have enjoyed fiction based around it. "Anno Dracula", by Kim Newman, is a fine example of this, mixing the story of Dracula with that of the Ripper. Now add to it this latest novel, "Dust and Shadow", wherein a certain consulting detective investigates the case...
Now light though my interest is in the Ripper case, it's mountainously high compared to my interest in Sherlock Holmes. I've never read a single one of Doyle's stories, though I did once read a novel where Holmes went after the Phantom of the Opera, so I cannot compare those to this; I can simply review it on its own merits.
Those merits are, thankfully, quite good. In a style vaguely reminiscent of Caleb Carr's "The Alienist", author Lyndsay Fraye paints a fine picture of London, circa 1888, and populates it with a good cast of characters, both real and fictional, bringing them together in a fascinating story.
While a little plodding in parts, I did find this book enjoyable overall. I got a nice chuckle in a couple parts (especially one where we see how the rumors about Albert Victor might've started), and towards the end I had a great deal of problem with putting the book down to deal with my actual job (I have a tendency to read at work).
I did find the character of Holmes to be a little annoying, but as I've not read any of Doyle's stories, I can't say if that's within the normal parameters of the character. Also I found the author's choice of the eventual killer to be a little disappointing, but not much.
Overall a good book I'd recommend to anyone with an interest in the Ripper case and at least tentatively recommend to folks who like Holmes.
Faye's debut novel puts Sherlock Holmes on the endlessly-debated and still unsolved Ripper case, and the marriage is a good one. Faye has captured Arther Conan Doyle's creation of Dr. Watson's writing style and Watson's faint sense of frustration with and deep strain of admiration for Holmes so the effort reads like a new Sherlock Holmes adventure and not a hacked-up update. Holmes' rational deductive powers are stretched to the limits when faced with the real-life psychopathic … more
As a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, I was not sure how the author would come across in style and prose. Lyndsay Faye has done an outstanding job with the story, and if I didn't know better, I might think Doyle wrote this himself. She does such a great job that I knew right away she was a fan of Sherlock herself. It shows in the writing. You are transported back in time through the writing, and that is important for any Holmes story in my opinion. The book is an interesting and well thought out version … more
New novelist Lyndsay Faye has done what few have managed before. She has resurrected Sherlock Holmes and company. Faye succeeds admirably in creating the ambience of the original novels, and by pitting Holmes against Jack the Ripper, presents him with a challenge worthy of his talents. The world's greatest detective emerges true to form, with arrogance and foibles intact. Dr. Watson, dear as ever, remains at his side, but in this tale, he takes a more active role than was his wont. The usual lovely … more