Continuation of Arthur Conan Doyle's arch-villain Moriarty, who apparently died with Sherlock Holmes when both plunged over the edge of the falls in a case mid-career when Doyle was trying to kill off the fictional Holmes and take his writing career in a different direction. Foiled in this attempt by his demanding public (see The Doctor and the Detective: A Biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Holmes brought Moriarty back, and provided some additional detail to create a master criminal whose own fame and career were to continue to attract curiosity beyond the framework of Doyle's fiction.
This is Gardner's third trip to the Moriarty source, and other authors have been there as well. This was not, as I had hoped, a mystery tale where Moriarty matches wits with a private detective like Holmes, a Scotland Yard professional, or even a fellow criminal genus. Instead, this is basically a retelling of a mafia crime family story, much condensed and reset in Victorian England, with writing that is pedestrian and dated; this feels like a 1970s straight-to-paperback knockoff of "The Godfather." This has nothing to do with and no similarities to the Holmes' mysteries in either style, pacing, or skill.
Unless you really want a clumsy retelling of a mafia crime family story, much condensed and reset in Victorian England, stay away from this criminal mess.
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About the reviewer
Todd Stockslager (TStocksl)
I love reading and writing about what I have read, making the connections and marking the comparisons and contrasts. God has given man the amazing power to invent language and the means to record it which … more
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