Dust And Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr John H. Watson

30 Jan

One of the wonderful things about the GoodReads site is that the friends you make there recommend books to you. My mate Derek recommended “Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr John H. Watson” by Lyndsay Faye to me. I am so very glad he did.

I admit I was worried at first, because Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper has been done to death in both books and film. I need not have worried as “Dust and Shadow” is an excellent Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

The story fairly rips along (sorry) and the original characters have bounce and zest that blends well with Holmes and Watson.

The main attraction of this book to me is that Ms Faye has managed to capture that beautiful friendship between Sherlock Holmes and John Watson perfectly. The depth and warmth of the friendship shines through, and if Sherlock Holmes is a little more human than he is in the canon, it only adds lustre to the friendship.

A word on her Inspector Lestrade. Perfect. This is the best literary capture of the inspector I have seen. Too many authors make him a bumbling idiot. Sherlock Holmes himself said in the canon that Lestrade is the best that Scotland Yard has. You get to see that Lestrade in this book.

Ms Faye’s Jack the Ripper research was impeccable, making the story just a little more believable than most of the other Sherlock Holmes/Jack the Ripper outings.

And if you are very, very good, you might pick up on the identity of the Ripper, prior to the big reveal.  It’s a beauty.

I have no hesitation in recommending Dust and Shadows to any Sherlock Holmes fans, Ripperologists, or anyone who enjoys a great Victorian detective yarn.

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