He is joined – unexpectedly – by a Mr Frederick Chase of the Pinkerton’s Detective Agency who has pursued Clarence Devereaux – a notorious New York criminal boss – across the Atlantic to a planned meeting with Moriarty. Together they return to London tracking their quarries’ last movements and known associates to a fateful nexus at the heart of the London underworld.
Horowitz first returned Holmes and Watson to us in “House of Silk”, a thrilling and complex adventure and a masterful addition to the canon. His next offering – “Moriarty” – remains within that canon but takes an intriguing sidestep, insofar as neither Holmes nor Watson appear at all within the story. Of course, Holmes could not, could he? having died in the icy waters of the same waterfall that claimed his nemesis Moriarty.
As it becomes clear that neither of our heroes will be taking part in this story, there is a mounting sense of disappointment. This does dispel to some degree as Jones and Chase take on the mantle of the famous detective and his faithful companion, however they are a pale imitation. Indeed perhaps too much of an imitation and it feels like Horowitz is trying a little too hard to fill Holmes & Watson’s boots.