Anthony Horowitz's MORIARTY (2015), is a Sherlock Holmes story in which the Great Detective does not appear. That's because the action in the book takes place after the "deaths" of both Moriarty and Holmes at Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland, an event that Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle engineered to get rid of the characters. The death of Holmes was, of course, temporary, as Doyle eventually was forced to resurrect the sleuth due to reader demand.
Here, both Holmes and Moriarty have met their deaths in the treacherous falls. Scotland Yard inspector Athelney Jones, a Holmes protege, is on the scene to investigate, tie up loose ends and confirm the deaths, While in Switzerland, he meets Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase, an American detective who has come to Europe with a specific task. American master criminal Clarence Devereux and his henchmen, have come to London to fill the void left by the death of Moriarty. Devereux intends to be the new king of crime in the London underworld and it's up to Jones and Chase to put a stop to his nefarious plans.
All that sounds pretty simple and straightforward but it's not. That's because MORIARTY is one gigantic magic trick, a feat of literary prestidigitation that Horowitz executes with remarkable skill and aplomb. For three quarters of the book he has us looking over here, when what's really happening is going on over here. It's a remarkable "gotcha" narrative moment that I did not see coming and one which I guarantee will take you by surprise.
Fun and fast paced, MORIARTY is the second Horowitz Holmes novel. Both his previous book, THE HOUSE OF SILK and this one are fully authorized by the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd. and that's a genuine seal of approval for Holmes fans. MORIARTY would make one heck of a good movie if anyone is paying attention. It's far better material than either of the lame Robert Downey Jr. Holmes films.
Read MORIARTY and prepare to be amazed by a literary sleight of hand that will leave you in awe of master magician Anthony Horowitz. Highly recommended.