Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles by Kim Newman

Synopsis: Imagine the twisted evil twins of Holmes and Watson and you have the dangerous duo of Prof. James Moriarty – wily, snake- like, fiercely intelligent, unpredictable – and Colonel Sebastian ‘Basher’ Moran – violent,politically incorrect, debauched. Together they run London crime, owning police and criminals alike. Unravelling mysteries — all for their own gain.

A spin-off from Titan’s highly successful Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series, The Hound of the D’Urbervilles sees acclaimed novelist Kim Newman (Anno Dracula) take on the fiendish Professor Moriarty.

Review: Retellings and innovations on the stories described by Conan Doyle immediately attracted me.

Kim Newman’s book is pretty good. In this novel, we follow the evil duo Moriarty-Moran who is the exact opposite of the Sherlock Holmes-James Watson duo. The characters are perfect and well described: between Moriarty, the brain of the organization developing grandiose and disguised Machiavellian plans in which Moran, hunter of ferocious beasts and amateur of women, describes the adventures of the duo always trying to put himself in value. Moriarty, described by Moran, is manipulator, calculator, sure of him but he also presents manias that make him weird: Moriarty has a toc and does not stop nodding when he thinks.

Unlike the original heroes, the duo works here to do evil and for their benefit. It may be noted that the opposition even places the strategic center of Moriarty in a brothel while Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick received his customers at home. There are 7 stories in which Moriarty and his organization act for the clients who hired them. Thus we also find emblematic characters of the original adventures: Irène Adler, the dog of Urbervilles (reference to the dog Baskervilles), … However, as said above, Moriarty and Moran realize contracts for their profits, sometimes at the expense of their customers.

In the end, it is a very nice book to read, containing different stories inspired by those of Sherlock Holmes. Short but effective stories to describe Moriarty’s mode and make the reader immerse in it.

Balthier

 

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