Alas, Moriarty was nowhere near as good as its predecessor, The House of Silk. While the first book resounded with the ring of Holmesian authenticity, from Watson’s narration to the fiendishly clever plot, Moriarty fails to deliver an authentic Conan Doyle experience.
It’s clearly not the case that Horowitz can’t pen a Sherlock story, as proved by the previous installment. But Moriarty is so far from being a Sherlock story that it feels barely tangentially related. London is overrun with gangsters, the crimes are excessively violent and bloody, there are shoot-outs and beatings, and one particular action sequence so silly it wouldn’t have been out of place in an Alex Rider book.
I was spoiled early on (annoyingly, the spoiler tags failed on Goodreads’ mobile site) which probably detracted from the experience for me, but even so a lot of the novel dragged. I flew through The House of Silk inside a day, while Moriarty took almost a week, and I ended up reading a couple of other books alongside it.
Although Moriarty just didn’t really work for me, Horowitz still made Inspector Athelney Jones a compelling central character, whose desire to fill Holmes’ shoes was oddly touching. If another installment should come, I hope it will be a return to Holmes and Watson territory, otherwise I’m not certain I’d be back for more.
[Read from 12-17 December 2016]