Published by: HQ
Publication Date: 23rd March 2017
London Society takes their problems to Sherlock Holmes. Everyone else goes to Arrowood.
The Afghan War is over, a deal with the Irish appears to have brought an end to sectarian violence, but Britain’s position in the world is uncertain and the gap between rich and poor is widening. London is a place where the wealthy party while the underclass are tempted into lives of crime, drugs and prostitution. A serial killer stalks the streets. Politicians are embroiled in financial and sexual scandals. The year is 1895.
The police don’t have the resources to deal with everything that goes on in the capital. The rich turn to a celebrated private detective when they need help. Sherlock Holmes. But in densely-populated South London, where crimes are sleazier and Holmes rarely visits, people turn to Arrowood, a private investigator who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele, and his showy forensic approach to crime. Arrowood understands people, not clues.
This was a very entertaining historical crime novel. Although William Arrowood is the titular character, it is narrated by his ‘Watson’, Norman Burnet. Holmes and Watson are the bane of Arrowood’s life; they get the big cases while he, and Norman, get the petty thefts and wayward husbands.
When a young lady comes to them asking them to find her brother Arrowood and Burnet
get pulled into a much more complicated case, involving a local crime lord, War
Office officials and Fenians gun running Enfield Riffles to Ireland. I really enjoyed the complications of the case and the character building, the history woven into the main narrative and the descriptions of London in 1895. The weaving in of the Sherlock Holmes canon makes this novel interesting, as Arrowood gives alternative possibilities for the resolution of some of Holmes’ most famous cases.
3/5 – would recommend for fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories