I've always had a soft spot for Sherlock Holmes. The books are wonderful pieces of classic fiction (my favourite being the Hounds of the Baskervilles) and modern interpretations such as those penned by Moffat and Gattiss help to keep thisÂ Centenarian alive in the minds of millions.
I've never considered combining the world of Holmes with that of Cthulhu (another favourite of mine) but on refection it does make some sense. Both writers are said to have been influenced by Edgar Allan Poe - Sherlock Holmes following Poe's C. Auguste Dupin while Lovecrafts work was strongly infuenced by Poe's distinct voice - clearly seen in works such as thee Cthulhu novella Shadow over Insmouth.
Lovegrove clearly knows both worlds exceptionally well, evident in the clever blending that makes up Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows. This is not a continuation of the Sherlock stories but a re-imagining, based on the premise that the Cthulhu Mythos exists and has influenced Holmes. The author revisits the very beginnings of the Sherlock stories and offers insight and exposition on what the original reader has been missing.
I loved the way that Lovegrove manages to keep to the feeling of a Sherlock novel but with much darker tones. The dynamic between Holmes and Watson works well, Holmes coming across as more friendly and less annoying, while Watson has more involvement, a larger part to play.
The inclusion of the Cthulhu Mythos helps to create some tense and suspensful moments and the author manages to push the story to the brink of destruction before finding a way to save it. He manages to create the overwhelming feeling of scale with the Old Ones - how insignificant the human race is next to such power and alien mind.
Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows is an entertaining read, it manages to breath fresh air into an old, much told story and does so well. I'll be eager to see where the author goes next.
Written on Monday 20th February 2017 by Antony Jones.
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