Narrated by Laurence Bouvard and Edward Petherbridge. A lovely American actress awakens in London on a cold morning in 1897 - lying face down on the concrete pavement outside the British Museum. She has no memories. She does not even know who she is, although she has a vague recollection of the name Sherlock Holmes. What she believes is that she has may have just killed someone, and that someone is definitely trying to kill her. As she searches for clues to her true identity, she will learn that she is not the only target. Unless she can defeat her evil adversaries, the people most dear to her will die.
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Not as good as I hoped
I really looked forward to this book, particularly as I had so enjoyed the previous two. However, the writing of this story was not at all up to the same standard and seemed to lack maturity. Sloppy repeated metaphors (I got really tired of hearing about icy grips on her heart or spine) and Americanisms (no Upper Class English woman would know what a "stoop" was, let alone tell her servant to clean it) did not help. The character of Lucy James and her language was all too modern, and distanced the entire novel away from the original Conan Doyle - which I felt the previous two books had captured very well. The idea of Lucy asking Sherlock Holmes for advice on love was excruciating though and that should never have made the cut. I did, however, enjoy the basic plot, even if was now Sherlock-Lite.
It would need tighter writing.
Edward Petherbridge was as excellent as ever, although sometimes it did seem as though he had recorded it separately to Laurence Bouvard. I cannot say the same for Laurence Bouvard. As an American, she came across well, but the same cannot be said for her accents, which at times had me laughing out loud. I do understand that the cockney accent is not an easy one for some Americans, but surely someone could have helped her get the crucial vowel sounds right?
Yes, I might, but the script would need to be much tighter and go back to the original two novels in style. The story itself was rather fun and with the right actors playing the roles it would make a good film.
Overall, this book had such a lot of potential, but it was a disappointment when compared to the previous two novels. Perhaps if I had not listened to it as an audio book I would not have felt quite so strongly.
- Mad Margaret