Where better to get away with murder than a place where thousands are dying every day?
Deep in the trenches of Flanders Fields, men are dying in their thousands every day. So one more death shouldn't be a surprise.
But then a body turns up with bizarre injuries, and Sherlock Holmes' former sidekick Dr John Watson - unable to fight for his country due to injury but able to serve it through his medical expertise - finds his suspicions raised. The face has a blue-ish tinge, the jaw is clamped shut in a terrible rictus and the eyes are almost popping out of his head, as if the man had seen unimaginable horror. Something is terribly wrong.
But this is just the beginning. Soon more bodies appear, and Watson must discover who is the killer in the trenches. Who can he trust? Who is the enemy? And can he find the perpetrator before he kills again?
Surrounded by unimaginable carnage, amidst a conflict that's ripping the world apart, Watson must for once step out of the shadows and into the limelight if he's to solve the mystery behind the inexplicable deaths.
'A vivid account of life in the trenches…this is a genuinely fascinating and finely researched piece of war fiction' Daily Express
'A hugely powerful depiction of wartime horror, a cunning murder mystery and a brilliant re-invention of Dr John Watson. Conan Doyle would most definitely approve!' Mark Billingham
A Worthy addition to the Holmes and Watson saga.
Watson is well drawn, and, I think, true to the character Doyle envisioned. Enjoyed it. A lot.
For die hard Holmes fans, a couple of notes. This book is written from the God's Eye view, which most of the Holmes stories are not. It contains coarse and profane language that modern readers may be used to, but which would never be found in Doyle's published work. And it's picky, but using "padre" rather than 'Father' to refer to a catholic priest is out of a different time and place. There are a few other idiomatic anachronisms, but they do not detract from the storytelling.
That said, I just kept reading, quite wanting to know what happens next.
Tight writing and short chapters keep you reading along, always thinking that you can stop at the end of the chapter. But the next one is so short, it can't take that long to read it as well, and as soon as you know what time it is, you've finished a delightful book.
If you know the Holmes characters this book is a must read.