Moriarty (Anthony Horowitz)

How do you prefer your forces of evil type Moriarty?

A diabolical mastermind, a Napoleon of crime ruling over an empire of iniquity, like a spider in the middle of its web?

Or as a washed-up hood with only three henchmen, running a cheap knocking-off shop?

Personally, I prefer Moriarty as a heavily oiled French wreck; fruit bottler extraordinary to the House of Pronk; champion barbed-wire hurdler (until his tragic accident); and male lead in over 50 postcards.


The Daily Mail called it “the finest crime novel of the year”.  It ain’t.  We’re a long way from Holmes.

It starts off well enough, with Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase and Inspector Athelney Jones at Reichenbach.  (He’s fallen in the water!)  It turns into a violent, joyless, increasingly tedious potboiler.

Zero wit or invention; lots of people shot in the head or stomach, throat-cutting, with blood spurting all over the place like a Tarantino film.  

The “stunning twist” is one of two I expected from the start.  (The other – wrong one – was that Athelney Jones would be Holmes in disguise.)  You’ve seen it before, done better.

2 thoughts on “Moriarty (Anthony Horowitz)

  1. We’ll agree to diagree over this one, but then I read it so quickly I never stopped to consider or anticipate a twist. I just loved it, especially because of how far Horowitz moves things away from the forelock-tugging deference to the Holmes canon that drags down so many pastiches. Possibly spending four years hearing how brilliant it is isn’t the best preparation for reading any book, however…

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  2. Nick, you continue to warn me against books I a) didn’t know existed, b) would likely try out of curiosity, and c) would be highly irritated/frustrated by had I pushed through them. “We’re a long way from Holmes”- droll and succinct. I quickly lost interest in the updated Cumberbatch TV series, although I know it’s revered in many mystery-fandom circles. Your description of this incarnation sounds rather a depressing read for me, so thanks for the caveat.

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