Monday, January 27, 2014
The Breath Of God!
Sherlock Holmes: The Breath of God by Guy Adams is a delightful romp of a Sherlock Holmes pastiche. It has a great momentum as Holmes and Watson come up against the supernatural and find themselves among a gaggle of somewhat infamous associates. Dr. John Silence created by Algernon Blackwood finds his way to 221B Baker Street and enlists Holmes to help him battle the magical machinations of "The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn", or at least elements of it. Reluctantly Sherlock relents and allows himself to be brought into the case which eventually ends up taking the detectives to Boleskine, the lair of Alesteir Crowley. Along the way they meet up with Thomas Carnacki, the ghost detective created by William Hope Hodgson and Julian Karswell, the warlock invented by M.R. James for his story "Casting the Runes" which gave inspiration for the movie Night of the Demon.
The action is hectic and there is plenty which seems totally out of this mundane world, much which presumably would ultimately challenge the logic of Sherlock Holmes. Seeing Holmes and Watson in particular battle against the onslaught of the irrational is the key to this sprawling tale, from England to Scotland and back again. The personalities of the various magical types are vivid and entertaining.
I hesitate to say much for dread of spoiling this story, but I found Adams a worthy writer who doesn't so much ape the work of Doyle, but blend the elements of sundry writers into a satisfying whole. I have my reservations about what happens to one character alas, but nothing is ever ideal.
This is very much recommended.
This novel precedes Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr.Moreau which I looked at here. Having now read both, there is little direct connection between them.
Here are some tasty volumes to find out more about the sundry characters found in this tale. I just picked up the Hodgson volume myself and hope to read it soon.