The year 1889. The First Terror.
At a boys’ prep school in the Kent marshes, a pupil is found drowned in a pond. Could this be the fulfilment of a witch’s curse from 400 years earlier?
The year 1890. The Second Terror.
A wealthy man dies of a heart attack at his London townhouse. Was he really frightened to death by ghosts?
The year 1894. The Third Terror.
A body is discovered at a Surrey country manor, hideously ravaged. Is the culprit a cannibal, as the evidence suggests?
These three linked crimes test Sherlock Holmes’ deductive powers, and his skepticism about the supernatural, to the limit.
Author: James Loovegrove
Narrator: Dennis Kleinman
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Running Time: 10hrs 46mins
Genre: Historical Fiction/Detective
My Rating of ‘Sherlock Holmes & The Three Winter Terrors’: 4 out of 5
Holmes and Watson are two of my favourite characters in all of literature and, considering their maker is long dead, finding an author like Lovegrove, who gives them the same care and attention has been an absolute treat.
This novel is made up of three sections, each feeling like a novella in and of itself. But, as the blurb states, all three are linked and are done so in a very clever way that doesn’t feel overbearing or forced. I found myself ripping through this at a fast pace due to the quality of Lovegrove’s storytelling. He constantly has me wanting to get through just a little bit more before putting it down for the day.
The characters are all believable as real people and none of them feel like simple names on a page to add to the ambiance. They add to the world as a whole and feel as though they belong in it. I personally love the abrasiveness of some characters towards Holmes, despite his mild celebrity at the time. It really gave a little extra believability to the story and added an extra layer of mystery for the reader to ponder through.
I’ll not lie, this book isn’t perfect. I found the odd deduction here or there more like the author telling him a thing rather than Holmes spotting it. I also felt the ending was a little unlike the great detective compared to his previous outings. Where he usually has it wrapped up in a believable (most of the time) fashion long before the final cookie has crumbled, in this one, it felt almost as though he’d been outfoxed a couple of times and adapted on the fly to pretend that he hadn’t. It just didn’t have that neatness to the final unveiling that I would have liked. But, it was only a minor concern and something that might not even be that noticeable. Maybe I was just being overly critical?
As ever, the narration of Lovegrove’s Holmes novels was wonderful. Dennis Kleinman did an excellent job of bringing Holmes, Watson and the surrounding world to life.