The Holmes Affair

Arthur Conan Doyle curled his brow tightly and thought only of murder.

A nice start of the year for reading. How many books can there be about Sherlock Holmes and still come up with something entertaining? I don’t know because I’m not a detective, but The Holmes Affair is definitely entertaining.

There are two story lines, both with murders. One in the twenty-first century, a ‘Sherlockian’ testing his knowledge about fictional detective work with a real life murder, the other in the nineteenth century, with Arthur Conan Doyle .. doing just the same. Of course things are connected through time and Graham Moore weaves a pretty net.

Victorian England shows its grubby sides this time, but still manages to be more colorful and exciting than the travel through Europe and rich people’s houses in this century. Arthur is – even though he has some terrible ideas about women – also a more appealing character to follow. That doesn’t mean that the other side is lacking, there is a nice balance.

For an entertaining double whammy of (outlandish) detective work and some grubby Victorian England living, pick up The Holmes Affair.

The Holmes Affair, Graham Moore, Century 2011

Wool

The children were playing while Holston climbed to his death; he could hear them squealing as only happy children do.

Authorities deciding that they know what’s best for you down to every little detail, are terrifying. Living in a world where you can’t escape them because your world is one big silo, probably makes things even worse.

The sky outside is poison. The silo is a micro-climate, and thinking about going outside, changing the inside processes and authorities, are enough to get you sent outside, to clean. Because even though the world outside is a wasteland, authorities still want their lenses trained on it.

And when there are rules about what you can’t and can think about it, there is rebellion. But is there a better world out there, or will they have to do with what has been the entire world for decades?

Hugh Howey creates a stark world in a superb visual way. The characters are gritty, but never more or less than human (although the villain leans a little bit towards 2D). And even though it’s part of a series, it absolutely holds up on its own.

Wool, Hugh Howey, Century 2013