Author: Loren D. Estleman
Genre: Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Mystery
First Published: 2010
In Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novella, ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,many questions were left unanswered. Now, Estleman answers these questions with a little help from the infamous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.’
One October evening, Sherlock Holmes is visited by the lawyer, Mr. Utterson. Utterson has concerns surrounding the will of the esteemed Dr. Jekyll, which states that if he is to die or disappear, all of his goods shall be left to the detestable Edward Hyde. Hyde is a name well known in the pubs and brothels of London’s notorious East End, and Utterson is concerned that Jekyll is being blackmailed by Hyde.
Holmes and his companion Watson set out to discover the truth behind the unlikely relationship between Jekyll and Hyde, but once Hyde commits the murder of a well-liked MP, a vicious man-hunt begins. Once Holmes unravels the mystery surrounding Jekyll and Hyde, a deadly confrontation occurs.
Estleman did a fantastic job with this novel. Not only is it true to Conan Doyle’s original tales in the sense that it is recorded by Watson, and the tone of the novel echoes that of the originals, but it also stays entirely true to Stevenson’s plot. What I found most fascinating about this novel was the conclusion that it offered. All of the questions that Stevenson left unanswered surrounding Jekyll’s mysterious death are answered in an unexpected confrontation.
This reworking of two classic protagonists offers a new light on the tales. It is wonderful reading a story that you know so well from another perspective (as well as feeling like you are one step ahead of the master that is Sherlock Holmes!) Although the tone does slip from time to time, Estleman has done a brilliant job of capturing the ‘voice’ of the time, whilst also making these classic stories appeal to a modern generation.
Now I have read this title I am eager to begin other titles in the ‘Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ series. I am particularly interested in the outcome of ‘Sherlock Holmes and the War of the Worlds’ (keep an eye out for a review on that one!) For anyone who loves either Sherlock Holmes and/or Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, this one is a must read!
Favourite quote: ‘Quite right, Watson. These days, however, gentlemanly status seems to be more a question of appearance than conduct. I sometimes think that a gorilla would pass without comment at one of our West End social functions, so long as his shirt front remains spotless and he holds his teacup in the proper fashion.’ (p. 47)