Nevertheless. Before us Sherlock Holmes. Sometimes elusive, with an unusual mind. He goes to America to investigate a fairly old case involving a small organization, “The Fifth Heart”. Looking for Holmes and Moriarty. Sherlock Holmes is not all that is forgotten, but (as in the book of Doyle) faked his own death, which was confirmed in many interviews and stories Watson. And now, Holmes takes the role of some other people, for example, the famous Norwegian traveler.
Simmons took very seriously the writing of alternative stories about famous writers. The Dickens to Collins in the book “Drood”, Henry James and the character of Conan Doyle. If we get in with a biography of James, like the book “Drood”, note how coincidences and inconsistencies with the story told Simmons. For example, James was in America, not in the late 19th century (as written in the book), and arrived there only in 1904. But in principle, if not to read biographies and to trust completely in fiction (and at the same time and pretend that we don’t know neither Holmes nor James), the story is not bad. Although inferior, and the book “Drood” and the book “the Terror” (this will agree, perhaps, everything).
Simmons clearly loved the topic of drugs. I’m not arguing that in the 19th century, many addicted to opium, morphine and heroin, has just appeared on the market, but again, a lot (though not so much if to compare with the book “Drood”). Simmons likes to lead the reader away from the storyline. And not on 1-2 pages, and whole chapters. He immerses the reader in the history of their heroes, some of the intertwined fates of gg with secondary characters.
Sometimes allows himself (the narrator) to indulge in a lengthy discourse, often is completely important to the plot (such derogation is absolutely not the “Terror” in the book “Drood” they became more, but at the expense of almost 100% matches with biographies of Dickens and Collins, these retreats allow you to plunge into the life of writers more deeply). So in the book “The Fifth Heart” of these reasonings and digressions too much. And okay, you can close your eyes to them and not give them importance, but the kilometer-long paragraphs sometimes carried important for the development of the plot, the sense, contained certain facts that it was impossible to miss. Therefore, all those passages had not only to read but also to comprehend and sometimes even “pictures” in memory, just in case – maybe it’s the narrator threw the bait to the third Chapter from the end of the book.
If you do not delve into minor issues, the book is quite good. But there is one thing. And large. Plot. I’m interested in the idea, expressed early in the book Holmes that he is an unreal person. I thought around this and will spin the whole story (well this is the kind of story you can write), but alas this proved to be minor (despite the active search for Moriarty, who turned out to be quite a real person), but the main thing was the investigation, which Holmes “raised” a few years later. I have the feeling that Holmes was just boring because he sort of died for the whole world.