Only moments ago I turned the last page on Anthony Horowitz’s The House of Silk, and I must say he was quite dutiful in his approach to the famous Detective and the original author’s (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) method of portrayal. I originally thought it to be much like A Study in Scarlet, and it most certainly is at the beginning. However, it delves much deeper and takes many more turns than any of Watson’s previously chronicled exploits, entangling many of the characters we’re readily acquainted with (from the original adventures): Lestrade, Moriarty, (of course Watson and Sherlock), The Baker Street Irregulars, previous clients of Holmes, etc. The story in itself is a labyrinth of seemingly unrelated points which culminate to an “AHA! I should’ve seen that!” moment when Sherlock provides his unveiling of the case (or rather, cases in this case [the joys of wordplay!]).
The House of Silk is made up of two wholly intertwined cases: The Man in the Flat Cap and The House of Silk (I have added such information to Wikipedia at this point) – the first is quite like Sherlock’s other cases, yet still incredibly fresh. The latter is quite ambiguous at first, as one would desire and most certainly expect of a good mystery, and at its end, most revolting by the nature of the crime that was committed, reminding us this is a novel designated for mature audiences and reminds one of certain events that have occurred in our world and my country as of late.
Anthony Horowitz delivers and follows through with all the expectations I would set forth for a Sherlock Holme’s novel, and makes a suitable addition to the canon as such. I likely will, after the story has had time to ‘sink in,’ write a detailed review of the stories up’s and down’s (most up’s in terms of literary execution and mastery), as well as further delve into its plot, moral content, and corresponding suitabilities.
Christian & Family Perspective
The House of Silk is not suitable, nor is it meant to be, for children under 14-17 years of age in my personal opinion and in light of the content. Mature themes are discussed, not explicitly, nor in a highly depraved manner, but rather according to the nature of the crimes involved in both cases. Drugs are also prevalent in this novel, as they have been in many of Doyle’s, and make frequent mention of Holmes’ syringe of liquid cocaine which sits upon his mantle.
I am making steady progress in my reading of the House of Silk, and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed! Horowitz has effectively utilized a vast majority of Doyle’s signature tools (characters, resources of language, plot/case outline, etc.) and thus produced a very nostalgic and thoroughly suspenseful novel. As I read, I am making notes of various plot points to include on Wikipedia and my review of the story here, below is what I have contrived thus far (my Wikipedia version is slightly altered):
The House of Silk begins with a brief, personal recounting of events by Watson, much like the Study in Scarlet by the original author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The reader is informed of the particulars regarding the first meeting of Watson and Holmes, including the circumstances of the Afghan War which were inexplicably tied therein. In this we have the prologue, and once the first chapter begins, we are hot on the case. At the start of the first chapter, it is discovered that due to certain unknown circumstances other than the departure of Watson’s wife, Mary (Morston, in The Sign of Four), Watson has returned to board with Holmes, the latter being quite pleased with the reunion, after having little correspondance due to the family life of Watson. Holmes’ proceeds to unravel these unknown circumstances forthwith, deducing that Watson’s wife has left, accompanied with their child [Richard Forrester] (who is sick with influenza) to seek care from Mrs. Cecil Forrester (another prominent figure in the Sign of Four, and the boy’s governess). Shortly thereafter, with an example of Holmes’ ‘deductive powers’ made, the client of the The Flat Cap case is introduced. He is a man by the name of Edmund Carstairs, an art dealer who has come upon unfortunate circumstances. A year after his return to America, he finds himself being stalked by a man in a flat cap, characteristic of an infamous Irish gang. He proceeds to tell Holmes of the events which first led to his acquaintance with the man – he had come to America after a train robbery and destruction therein had destroyed paintings which were to be sent on request of a wealthy client. The gang responsible were based in Botson, led by two Irish twins, Rourke (muscular and assertive) and Keelan (pale, frail, and possible mastermind) O’Donaghue wearing distinct flat caps (thus the name of the gang), and had destroyed the paintings by way of setting charges to one of the train cars containing numerous English pound notes. Mr. Carstairs, with the full financial backing of his wealthy client, proceed to hire a private detective by the name of Bill McParland. The detective soon locates the hideout of the gang and their discovery results in a fierce firefight in which all but one of the gang perishes. As the sole survivor, Keelan O’Donaghue allegedly enacts his revenge by tracking down Carstairs more than a year after the instant, watches his every movement, and supposedly robs of his household a pearl necklace and a few pound notes.Adventure Writer's Blog: House of Silk Summary (Prologue, Ch. 1 - 2.5)
Fun Fact: In Chapter one there is some mention of Dupin, a character developed by the late Edgar Allen Poe, and his ability to make astounding deductions based on visible emotions reflected through the physical medium. Holmes demonstrates this by uncovering Watson's anxiety and the source thereof.
The House of Silk, written by Anthony Horowitz and commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate, has been available in stores since Nov. 1st! This latest installment in the Sherlock Holmes canon is sure to be a rollicking, action-packed thrill of a ride, based on what we’ve seen with Horowitz’s other works, such as the Alex Rider series.
Once I’ve gotten the book in the mail (1-4 business days), I’ll read through it and write my review – perhaps my best yet!
Wikipedia – some people trust it, others look at as an unreliable resource containing bogus facts and figures. While the latter may be true in some cases, volunteer Wikipedia members work around the clock to ensure the dignity of it’s articles – in the end, however, the easiest way to check for veracity is to check sources next to each phrase   .
Lately I’ve been working on revising Wikipedia and adding to its database. My latest work is the page, The House of Silk, which details Anthony Horowitz’s “sequel” to the Sherlock Holmes series – check it out!
It is time for the final mission – the last adventure in the New York Times bestselling series, Alex Rider, by author Anthony Horowitz. Whether a returning fan or a newly acquainted reader, this action-packed thriller is sure to please with every page.
We join Alex Rider where we left off – the end of his life as a spy. After completing dozens of missions for MI6 (British Intelligence) Alex can finally return to a normal life… or can he? While at school, Alex once again finds himself caught in the cross hairs of a sniper. He escapes, but one of his best friends takes a bullet. Alex vows revenge, enraged that the world of espionage has once again reared it’s ugly head and invaded his life at home. Jack Starbright, Alex’s housekeeper (and sole guardian, due to the death of his parents and uncle), and Alex meet with two of the top honcho’s of British Intelligence. Alan Blunt, the chief, decides it would be safer for Alex to be relocated to the Middle East, until a safer time, and provides him a seemingly harmless task to do while there. What he doesn’t know, however, is that Scorpia (a worldwide criminal organization) is pulling all the strings, and there will only be one person returning home alive.
It’s a tremendously well written novel, with ingenious literary devices and page-to-page suspense. It, however, expects the reader to have grown with the series. It’s incorporation of methods of torture and periods of violence are intended for teens and adults – not young children. A fantastic end to a wonderful series!
I have had very little time today, so I’ve set what time I have on WordPress to drafting posts!
Tomorrow look forward to reading my “finale review” of the Nintendo 3DS, followed by the Scorpia Rising book review!
One of the shortest posts I’ve made in awhile…
Thanks for reading!
This month, all sorts of things seem back-to-back – and the Adventure Writer Blog may be likewise in the next few days. Tomorrow (delayed till’ Monday), expect to see two Weekly Photo Challenge responses, then shortly afterwards, the review for Anthony Horowitz’s latest novel – Scorpia Rising.
Towards late March & early April, we should start to see the Nintendo 3DS Review Series at last come to fruition.
As always, thanks for reading the Adventure Writer’s Blog.
…the latest novel by Anthony Horowitz, Scorpia Rising!
Being the last installment in the series, there is a dramatically high expectation for this novel – and I’m looking forward to a good show. Will the novel meet its readers’ hopes, or fail to make the grade?
Be sure to look for the review on the Adventure Writer Blog a week or so after March 22nd (It’ll take awhile to read).
Upcoming Adventure Writer Blog Events
This week, look forward to the reviews for some of December 2010’s latest films. One provides comedy relief – while the other seems to try a bit too much…
Post-A-Day March will introduce the brand-new Nintendo 3DS (check out my preliminary review) and our lengthy, in-depth series thereof. Hopefully along with Scorpia Rising, the latest novel by Anthony Horowitz (which may go into April)!
Post-A-Day May through December will introduce back-to-back movies, such as Sherlock Holmes II and Transformers III.
Thanks for keeping up with the Adventure Writer Blog!
I was reviewing my blog’s statistics today when I noticed I had received a redirect from AnthonyHorowitz.com, evidently when I had commented on one of the author’s blog posts. This led to me to visit the site… and find some surprising news. Anthony Horowtiz – author of the famous Alex Rider series, and Power of Five novels, has been enlisted, for the first time in history, by the Conan Doyle Estate to write a Sherlock Holmes novel, which will be released this September!  All the details are listed on his blog.
I look forward to reading the novel, and you can be sure to read a review on it this September at the Adventure Writer Blog!