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Book Review : Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz (Orion Books)

moriarity1111

One of the UK’s most successful writers and screenwriters, Anthony Horowitz returns to the world of 19th century London and the world of Sherlock Holmes with his new novel Moriarty.

The novel is set a few days after the events at the Reichenbach Falls which resulted in the death of Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty.  The death of Moriarty creates an opportunity for other criminals to fill the criminal mastermind vacuum in London and Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase travels to London in pursuit of a new criminal mastermind with murderous intentions.

Chase also travels to the Reichenbach Falls pondering on the death of Holmes and Moriarty and relates his meeting with Detective Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard in the crypt of St Michael’s church in Meiringen, within the crypt lies the body of James Moriarty.

Chase informs Athelney Jones that although one criminal mastermind may be dead, another American criminal mastermind had relocated in London and was planning to extend his corrupt empire. Altheney Jones, a student of Holmes’ methods of detection and Frederick Chase eventually  decide to form an alliance to fight the new mysterious mastermind. Chase proposed a toast ‘ To the capture of  ‘Clarence Devereux’ and ‘to the two of us, Scotland Yard and Pinkerton’s working together. ‘

What follows is a series of incidents that lead our heroes deeper into the darkest corners of the capital hunting for the shadowy mysterious figure of Clarence Devereux and his associates.  Some savage murders shock the two detectives, Chase arriving at the scene to an awaiting Altheney Jones remarks  ‘ his face – pale and disgusted – warned me that this was a scene of horror which he , with all his experience, had never encountered before’.

A dinner with the Altheney Jones in Camberwell gives Chase some insight into the Detective Inspectors character when Mrs Altheney Jones confides that it was her husbands failure to impress Sherlock Holmes in their meetings that drove him on to try to replicate Holmes’ success.

However as body count rises and the net closes, the ghosts of Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty pervade the ongoing developments  leading to a shocking denouement.

Anthony Horowitz manages to create an homage to the world of Conan Doyle’s ‘great detective’, but also produces a thrilling plot with a series of twist and turns. Followers of the original Holmes stories will be familiar with a number of characters  that reappear in this book which add to the sense that the Victorian world of Holmes is being recreated faithfully.

However for all the Holmes’ references, it is the unlikely partnership of Altheney Jones and Frederick Chase that is central to this intriguing mystery. The different approaches of the Pinkerton man and the Holmes’ disciple compliment each other and provide considerable impetus in the investigations. An ingenious touch is that Altheney Jones himself features in a couple of Holmes’ stories, one real and one invented and featured at the end of the book.

This book will appeal to the many Holmes aficionado’s  but can also be read as an exciting and fast-moving thriller, Howowitz brings all his writing  and dramatic skills to structure a well paced, intricately plotted and knowledgable book that will delight and surprise in equal measure.

 Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

if you would like to find out more about the book or buy a copy, visit the Orion website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.

To find out more visit the website here

Book Review : Storm by Tim Minchin (Orion Books)

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October sees the release  of Tim Michin’s illustrated book Storm which is based on the hit online animation of the same name.

Tim Minchin is a award-winning Australian musician, songwriter, actor and comedian who had developed his own unique brand of musical comedy over the last decade and attracted a growing number of fans along the way.
In the introduction to the book, Michin relates the origins of Storm which was a short song he used to play called ‘If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out (Take my Wife) ‘. He wanted to develop the idea further but could not find the right vehicle until a fateful dinner party. His discussions with a fellow diner provided the main focus of what became a sort of beat poem, which Michin used to end his comedy show. It was at one of these comedy shows that the poem attracted the attention of Tracy King and DC Turner who asked Minchin permission to produce an animation based on the poem. Two years later the animation was launched at an Animation festival at Bristol and uploaded to You Tube, where it has to date been viewed around three million times.

The scene of the poem is a dinner party in a North London flat, Tim and his wife are the guests of longstanding friends. Another guest has been invited, a young woman whose name is Storm, when she arrives Tim is rather stuck with her attractiveness but becomes slightly unsettled when he notices that she has a tattoo of a fairy just above her ‘ derriere’. As soon as the introductions are over and the wine begins to flow, the battle begins.

It seems that Storm is a hippy at heart and professes belief in astrology and natural remedies, Tim a rationalist at heart grows more and more exasperated until delivering a rant about how can people believe in unproven beliefs whilst science has opened up so many worlds of wonder.

Although the verbal and intellectual battle is the main focus, a great deal of the humour comes from Tim’s awareness that the other guests are often frozen in fear about what will happen next.

The illustrated book provides plenty of visual fun by illustrating some of Tim’s more outlandish remarks and shows that his battle is not just with Storm but with his own thought processes. The reference to Scooby Doo is a wonderful scene where the dinner party guests assume the guise of the characters of the animated cartoon.

The success of the Storm is that it works on many different levels, although many people celebrate the poem as an anthem for critical thinking there is far more to it than that. It charts a debate where there are no winners or losers  but people entrenched in their own world view. Tim’s rant on rational thinking is often irrational and Storm’s irrational ideas are often presented rationally, therefore  further confusing  the issues.

Storm is an unusual book  that brings together ideas, poetry and comic book type illustrations which perfectly complement each other. Tim Minchin’s dazzling wordplay and DC Hunters impressive artwork provide a book that may ask big questions but does so with humour and self parody

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like to find out more about the book or buy a copy, visit the Orion website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here