The Dark Water The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes


The Dark Water The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes Imprisoned in a dank cottage deep in the English countryside Arthur Doyle lies half unconscious and at the mercy of his nemesis Cream Gathering all his dwindling strength he smashes a window and crawls to safety With a sharp piece of broken glass he awaits his torturer's return but the man has eluded him once leaving behind the rotting body of a local miser and thwarted in his attempt to obtain money for his 'deadly' cause Securing the help of the remarkable pioneering criminal investigator Dr Joseph Bell the two men return to the scene of the crime but find few clues London reveals little except the possibility that their archenemy has gone to the Suffolk coast under the name of Dr Mere Full of legend the local community fear the 'Dunwich witch' has returned with her evil curse A man has died in suspicious circumstances and it seems many are unwilling to talk about it More hideous crimes are yet to come as Dr Bell and Doyle move closer and closer to confronting Cream Bell to capture a notorious villain Doyle to avenge himself for a crime which robbed him of his future happiness Dr Bell and Arthur Doyle are reunited once again in their uest to hunt down a criminal mastermind in a sinister tale of intrigue and violence which reaches a terrifying and dramatic climax This is the last of Pirie's trilogy featuring Dr Joseph Bell the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle It starts off where the second ends and it is so much like the second that at first one wonders if they may have read this one but no just a page or two and one knows it is a different book entirely Bell and Doyle continue on their uest to track down Cream a former fellow med student of Doyle's They take off to Dunwich a small seaside town much of which has been eroded by the waves of the North Sea Here setting out to solve a disappearance followed by other murders they are convinced they are on the right trail Many twists and turns are included as was as of course impossible escapes All of which make for a good read And yes although published in 2006 it's a surprise that Pirie has not followed up with a fourth along the same lines Guess his time as a screenwriter film producer and film critic has left no time for mystery writing The Dark Water is volume three in the series following Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Bell This series doesn't lend itself well to just dipping in so if you want to try it I recommend starting with The Patient's EyesA good mystery with satisfying twists and turns But the relationship between Doyle and Bell just didn't work for me It hasn't changed and grown since the first book There doesn't seem to much affection between them They don't feel like friends or mentormente or even comrades They sort of grudgingly work next to each other and very rarely with each other which dulled my enjoyment The Dark Water and the whole series are pretty dark and really could have used that as a counterpoint This book is not what I imagined but I have no complaints The title came up when I was trolling through a library catalog for books on Sherlock Holmes It's not about him nor is there any specific mention of him in the entire book On the other hand this is an action filled adventure staring Professor Dr Joseph Bell MD and Arthur Conan Doyle MD Who? do you ask? Bell is the real world archetype used to create Sherlock Holmes and ACD is the man who created him and his Boswell John H Watson MDACD was a student of Dr Bell in Medical School They had certain true life adventures with a murderous individual This book is the third in a series I have not read the previous two that takes those real life events and draws them out into a fast paced series of accounts While the pattern is not exactly that of Holmes and Watson Doyle has several specific episodes apart from Bell it is a Mystery in which they attempt to solve crimes A whole series of crimes perpetrated by this arch enemy who appears to drag ordinary men and women into his plots with exasperating ease Unlike Moriarty who had legions of followers organized into a criminal organization the antagonist of this book ensnares and recruits on an individual basis He does not sit like a spider at the center of a web but acts in the first person Without having read the previous two entries I cannot say how fast and loose the author may have played with the true tragic facts that occurred before this volume However on its own merits this is a very engaging tale If the three primaries were Messrs Foo Goo and Moo it would be just as engaging Only a few minor references in the epilogue would need to be deleted One assumes that the author has done some research into the core tale of the witch of Dunwich England it has nothing to do with H P Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror rather than just making it up Although a large part of the book is concerned with it I haven't done any fact checking and ultimately it does not matter This is a well written emotional roller coaster that rings trueIf you were expecting a story just like a Holmes story then you might feel a bit disappointed Certainly there is evil afoot and detection but the relationship of the two and the way the story is told marks it as something apart The author makes an effort to bring in the Holmes like skills such as personal history at a glance chemistry a willingness to be a judge a man of action and a brilliant cryptographer But read it for its own sake and consider the familiarity of the future writer to be an added benefitMy conjectures on what the story contained had to do with how ACD decided and did create his original Holmes tale obviously something that has nothing to do with this book I was basing that merely on the sub title The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes which is why the catalog search turned it up also Once I knew what I had I was happy to read along and I hope you will be too I'm going to be looking for its predecessors Not that I wouldn't mind reading a book that covered the imagined topic The third Arthur Conan Doyle book and last? I'm inclined to say it's not a trilogy now but I can't find any information about future books online isn't as focused as the second one was Although the case that Bell and Doyle take on in a superstitious village is directly related to their search for the villain Cream it seems tangential until the end I've really enjoyed reading all three books but the strength in plotting and pacing does seem to go up and down

  • Paperback
  • 448 pages
  • The Dark Water The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes
  • David Pirie
  • English
  • 24 August 2014
  • 9780099416623

About the Author: David Pirie

David Pirie was a journalist and film critic before he became a screenwriter Just a few of his numerous credits are the BAFTA nominated adaptation for the BBC of The Woman in White and his collaboration with Lars Von Trier on the script of the Oscar nominated film Breaking the Waves David Pirie lives in Somerset


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