Sherlock Holmes: Gods of War by James Lovegrove

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Sherlock Holmes: Gods of War by James Lovegrove

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Buy Sherlock Holmes: Gods of War by James Lovegrove at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime (Historical)
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: An elderly Holmes and Watson decide to come out of retirement to help solve the mystery of a body washed up on the beach.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: June 2014
Publisher: Titan Books
External links: [www.jameslovegrove.com Author's website]
ISBN: 9781781165430

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The year is 1913 and the storm clouds of war are gathering ominously on the horizon. Most people dread the inevitable, but there are individuals who stand to gain from the oncoming conflict and will stop at nothing to facilitate their plans, even if that means murder. However, it would take a very brave (or naïve) criminal to commit such an atrocity in the neighbourhood of Mr Sherlock Holmes, even if he is supposed to be enjoying his retirement. When it comes to investigating mysterious activity, Holmes can't resist the lure of the chase and soon the game is afoot!

Many years have passed since Holmes' London adventures and he is now happily retired and living a peaceful life in Eastbourne, keeping bees and composing monographs. When his dear friend Watson comes to pay a visit, he soon realises that Holmes is restless and missing his exciting life as a consulting detective. Adventure is never far away though and the discovery of a body washed up on the beach provides a welcome excuse for Holmes and Watson to get back into the investigating game.

Lovegrove has done a sterling job at recreating our eponymous hero and his loyal amanuensis, staying true to the character and original style of Doyle's books with Watson as the narrator. He sticks very closely to Doyle's writing style, which I was pleased to see, as more recent 'tributes' to Holmes have seen him consorting with Martians, astral projecting and battling vampires. I was relieved to find that Gods of War emulated the original subject matter faithfully, with no unexpected aliens or werewolves to be seen...

The story itself was fast paced and exciting with plenty of action and the characters were likeable and had depth. I particularly liked Elizabeth Vandenbergh, a penniless costumier who becomes a suspect when her ex-lover is found dead at Beachy Head. She is a feisty, quick-witted female and expert swordswoman to boot; certainly not someone to be trifled with. I also loved the trigger-happy gamekeeper Jenks and his oversized 'Hell-Hound' who reminds Watson of a particularly unpleasant chapter in his life...

Gods of War is a fabulous addition to the Holmes series and a 'must-read' for all Sherlock fans. The storyline does occasionally border on incredulous (the chapter with the booby-trapped house had me expecting Macaulay Culkin to pop up at any moment), but the book remains an incredibly enjoyable page-turner that left me begging for more. Thank you to the publishers for my review copy.

If, on the other hand, you like the sound of Holmes battling Martians, machines and monsters, then Encounters of Sherlock Holmes by George Mann (Editor) may be just your cup of tea.

Buy Sherlock Holmes: Gods of War by James Lovegrove at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sherlock Holmes: Gods of War by James Lovegrove at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Sherlock Holmes: Gods of War by James Lovegrove at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sherlock Holmes: Gods of War by James Lovegrove at Amazon.com.

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