Young Sherlock Holmes: Knife Edge by Andrew Lane
|Young Sherlock Holmes: Knife Edge by Andrew Lane|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: International intrigue, murder and mayhem are the order of the day as the teenage Sherlock and his brother Mycroft try to determine whether or not a psychic who claims he can speak to dead spies is telling the truth.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 346||Date: September 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
All Sherlock's deductive powers are called into play as he struggles to find out exactly what is happening in a remote castle on the coast of Galway. How did the servant die, and why did she lose her shoes? Is there really a Dark Beast roaming the local beaches and caves as the villagers claim? And more significantly for world peace, is the self-proclaimed psychic Ambrose Albano a fraud, or can he really find out, and thus reveal, the secrets of international espionage from those beyond the grave?
Poor Sherlock has barely set foot on land after a gruelling voyage back from China. A year or so before this book opens he was drugged, kidnapped and dumped on a boat to Shanghai (see Snake Bite for the full story of his adventures there) and he has just worked his passage back as far as Ireland. He has had much to occupy his mind on the journey home regarding his first love, Virginia Crowe, and his future career plans: where does a young man with an independent and incisive mind but a definite reluctance to accept the trammels of Victorian society, with all its rules and conventions, find satisfying work? Little wonder he is tempted to avoid any decision by staying on the ship and continuing to travel the world.
His elder brother Mycroft, a Foreign Office 'fixer' with a devious and labyrinthine mind and an ample girth which amply demonstrates his weakness for good food, immediately involves him in the diplomacy surrounding an international auction for the services of the psychic at Cloon Ard. But nothing is ever as it seems, and soon Death is stalking the grounds of the castle. Mycroft himself is brutally attacked, and a whole host of other and seemingly unrelated mysteries bedevil Sherlock's investigations. Old friends and old enemies return, and before everything is resolved our hero has made at least one more, possibly deadly, foe.
Much of the pleasure of the Sherlock Holmes' stories lies in the combination of highly dramatic, slightly fantastical adventures, usually involving deadly peril and shadowy villains, and the detective's explanations of how he came to his conclusions. Here we watch as the young man explores, considers and deduces while his enemies attempt to distract him, and eventually, in a thrilling and rather horrible climax to the story, try to remove him in a more permanent way. We learn a lot more here about the intriguing character he will become in adult life and how his wide-ranging and unusual education is preparing him for his future role. We are also reminded that despite his extraordinary abilities he is very much a child of his time and his social class — for example, he is perfectly able to hold his own in the company of diplomats, and yet he evinces a strong reluctance to trust the new-fangled hydraulic lift which allows his wheelchair-bound host to get about in the castle.
This is an extremely good story which will appeal equally to male and female readers thanks to its clever mix of derring-do, intelligent reasoning and the confusions of young love, and it is bound to enthral many young people and encourage them to seek out the original stories.
As well as the previous volume, mentioned above, Bookbag thoroughly enjoyed Young Sherlock Holmes: Fire Storm by the same author. And if you want your ghosts to have a more central (and deadly) role in the story, try Lockwood and Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. It's seriously scary!
You can read more book reviews or buy Young Sherlock Holmes: Knife Edge by Andrew Lane at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Young Sherlock Holmes: Knife Edge by Andrew Lane at Amazon.com.
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