Description (from publisher):
‘Now back in print after forty years: the second novel in John Gardner’s bestselling series of Victorian crime thrillers. With riches accumulated from an American crime spree, Professor Moriarty proceeds to annihilate his enemies. He murders the leaders of Europe’s underworld one by one, then prepares his most hideous revenge for his arch-enemy, Sherlock Holmes. Will he succeed in this most terrible plan?
In this vivid, suspenseful novel of London underworld crime, John Gardner has created another brilliant novel in his acclaimed series pitting the Napoleon of Crime, James Moriarty, against mystery fiction’s Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes.
I have read many detective stories and mysteries over the years and there are very few that even compare to the greatness that is Sherlock Holmes. I love this character and his quirks and mannerisms. I love the way he can find out the solution to a very complex problem with the merest detail. I have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes’ stories and movies for a very long time. I literally go mad for anything Sherlock related. There is a reason that Holmes is called the Great Detective and why he is so popular even today, many years after he was first introduced to the public. I wonder if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle realized during his lifetime what an impact he had on the literary world. Sherlock Holmes is a detective extraordinaire, a force to be reckoned with, that people all over the world, in different ways of life, can come together and enjoy the brilliance and intelligence of a fascinating character.
This book is the second in the Professor Moriarty series by John Gardner. The first is The Return of Moriarty and you can find my review for that one here. This book is set in the point of view of Professor Moriarty, as is the first novel in the series, and is a nice spin on the famous Sherlock Holmes stories. If you are perhaps wondering if you should read the first book before this one, John Gardner himself, clears that up very nicely in the introduction:
‘The first volume, The Return of Moriarty, was concerned with, among other things, the true identity of Professor James Moriarty; the structure of his criminal society; his own version of what really occurred when he met Sherlock Holmes at Reichenbach Falls (described by Watson in The Final Problem); his struggle to maintain a grip on the London underworld of the early 1890’s; his alliance with four of the great continental criminals–Wilhelm Schleifstein of Berlin; Jean Grisombre of Paris; Luigi Sanzionare of Rome, and Esteban Segorbe of Madrid; and the, hitherto unpublished, details of a dastardly plot against the British Royal Family.
This present volume continues the story, though it can, of course, be read as a separate entity.’
Personally, from reading both this book and the previous one, I highly recommend that you read them in order as the second one definitely continues where the first one left off and I think that the plot and the character development is essential to the continuing story in this book.
Professor Moriarty returns to London following the events in The Return of Moriarty and has a plan of revenge for all the other continental crime lords who snubbed him during one of his lesser moments. This is his tale of how he enacts his personal vendetta and how he uses his sharp wit and intelligence to bring the downfall of Europe’s most dangerous criminals.
I really enjoyed reading this book, as I did the first one, and cannot get enough of John Gardner’s impeccable writing skills. He remains true to Doyle’s Sherlock and the Professor and it is amazing how flawlessly the characters continue where Doyle left off. As a reader, I could definitely see the characters behaving the way that they did and I find myself torn between disliking Moriarty and actually liking him and wanting him to succeed. Yes, I am saying that I want one of the most notorious criminal overlords to succeed. It’s strange to feel that way, but Gardner has a way of making Moriarty a likeable character. I highly recommend this book and the rest of the books in this series to Sherlock Holmes fans who just can’t get enough of the stories. This is a fabulous tale and it deserves to be read and hopefully can make other Sherlock Holmes fans enjoy being reunited with the familiar detective and his evil nemesis.
Overall Rating: 4.5
Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my review, this did not affect my review in any way. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.