In the fabulously titled Death Cloud, Andrew Lane introduces the reader to a fourteen year-old Sherlock Holmes, who is yet to discover or develop his legendary skills of logic and deduction. A thin and somewhat stilted beginning with an unlikely set-up of the meeting of Sherlock and a friend, Matthew Arnatt, coupled with some character inconsistency hamper the first fifty pages of the text. However, after that, Lane settles into his narrative which begins to clip along at an increasingly satisfying pace. Filled with action, rousing chases, and fascinating and bizarre characters, the book nicely accelerates to its climax. Addressing the early years frees Lane to create fresh villains, who are reminiscent of some of James Bond’s most creative enemies. Concluding with a set-up for a forth-coming sequel, readers enjoying rapid-paced mystery may look forward to more of the young Sherlock.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Farrar Straus and Giroux
Violence included the death of a couple of characters, presumably by the plague; encountering a corpse in the woods; a character trying to slit another character’s throat; a character being hit with a boathook resulting in a gash revealing blood and bone; a presumed drowning; a boxing match; torture with a whip; a chase involving shoving, punching, kicking, hitting with a mace; a chase where a man is stabbed and killed; a fire where clothing is ignited; a kidnapping; a sword fight; a fight where a character is knocked unconscious with a helmet; a fight involving a whip; a somewhat gruesome death by inflicted by some insects; a fire and explosion.
Mature Subject Matter:
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Other content of note was the drugging of two characters with laudanum.