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“A truly bravura performance [with] all the magnetic appeal of the best of the original Conan Doyle novels.”—The Strand Magazine
En route to San Francisco to settle her family’s estate, Mary Russell, in the company of husband Sherlock Holmes, falls prey to troubling dreams—and even more troubling behavior. In 1906, when Mary was six, the city was devastated by a catastrophic earthquake. For years Mary has insisted she lived elsewhere at the time. But Holmes knows better.
Soon it is clear that whatever unpleasantness Mary wanted to forget hasn’t forgotten her. A series of mysterious deaths leads Russell and Holmes from the winding streets of Chinatown to the unspoken secrets of a parent’s marriage and the tragic “accident” that Mary alone survived. What Russell discovers is that even a forgotten past never dies . . . and it can kill again.
BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Laurie R. King's The God of the Hive and Pirate King.
In her last outing, The Game (2004), Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, traveled to India on a case of geopolitical significance, but in the richly imagined eighth novel in this acclaimed series, set in San Francisco in 1922, Russell undertakes a far more personal investigation. Since she began her journey back to her hometown ostensibly to deal with her father's estate Russell has been tormented by strange dreams, one of which involves the "locked rooms" of the title, and the sight of her San Francisco childhood home opens a flood of memories and emotions, most of which she's loathe to allow into her ber-rational mind. When someone takes a shot at her, Holmes enlists the help of Pinkerton agent Dashiell Hammett and Russell tries to unlock her past, in particular the "accident" that killed her family and left her an orphan in 1914. King's re-creation of San Francisco, especially the backstory during the devastating 1906 earthquake, is superb, and it's a pleasure to see the unusually competent Russell struggling with her own psyche. The plot may be a bit thin, but the narrative has real momentum, the characters are engaging and the prose, as always, is intelligent, evocative and graceful.