Friday, July 10, 2015
Worthy Adversaries All . . . for Sherlock Holmes
Professor James Moriarty's first and last appearance occurs in Doyle's story “The Final Problem,” where Holmes is focused on incarcerating Moriarty and his entire criminal syndicate. The Professor is determined to put an end to Holmes, and forces him to flee to the Continent to escape retribution. The criminal brain follows, and the pursuit ends atop the Reichenbach Falls where Moriarty falls to his death while fighting with Holmes.
It is interesting to note that, while Moriarty actually appears in only one story, he looms large as Sherlock Holmes’s infamous arch-enemy. Most every writer of Holmes pastiches is therefore confronted with the challenge of creating a rival as diabolical as James Moriarty. From the reviews of my recent book, it appears I may have achieved that goal.
In three of the five novellas that comprise Sherlock Holmes - The Golden Years, Ciarán Malastier sets himself against Holmes and deals a blow that has the detective “down-for-the-count.” Holmes’s pursuit takes him “across the pond” and into the very heartland of America. When the two adversaries confront one another, Sherlock is forced to struggle with a darker side only hinted at in the original Canon.
In the last novella, “The Kongo Nikisi Spirit Train,” yet another “promising” adversary surfaces that harkens back to Moriarty himself.
Sherlock Holmes - The Golden Years requires the aging Holmes to be at the top of his game, and he rises to this challenge (as we know he will), as long as he draws a breath.