A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Audiobook: The House of Silk

Anthony Horowitz is the brains behind the brilliant WW2 police drama, Foyle's War, so I was eager to get stuck into his latest offering, The House of Silk.
That and because it's the first officially sanctioned Sherlock Holmes novel in a hundred and forty plus years.
Horowitz is a fantastic writer on different levels. His elegant prose, ability to create suspense, attention to detail, love of history, love of Victorian England and love of the Holmes canon shines through in this book. For the most part, I was riveted. Horowitz's Watson is more prone to introspection about the social conditions of his era than we're accustomed to in Conan-Doyle but that didn't really bother me all that much.

That said, I was deeply disappointed with the resolution... not because it was improbable but because it felt like I had been thrown into an Anne Perry novel, which I had been fearing would be the case three quarters of the way through.
It seems the fashion to portray pre WW2 England as a bleak morass of decadent horrors these days and this was no different. There must be some kind of unspoken competition among crime writers to ramp up the "yuck" factor in a number of historical fics that I've been reading lately.

I appreciated Derek Jacobi's dramatic narration overall but didn't really care for the way he voiced Holmes generally. The voice he used for Holmes seemed all over the place from sober to high pitched... not really how I envisaged a dominating, charismatic personality to sound.

All in all, it's a good yarn. My copy was downloaded from Audible but I'm sure you can pick up a dead tree edition in your usual haunts. Not a bad one to pick up at your local library if you don't mind a good crime novel that's fairly gloomy.

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