REVIEW: SHERLOCK HOLMES – GODS OF WAR / AUTHOR: JAMES LOVEGROVE / PUBLISHER: TITAN / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 27TH
Sherlock Holmes has had so many cases by now that it's almost beyond belief there is any space left in his life for new ones. He's taken on the Ripper, fought with Martian monsters and now, thanks to novelist James Lovegrove, he is going up (in a sense) against the gods themselves.
Joining him on this adventure is his dependable amanuensis Watson, who is penned very similarly to how Doyle originally wrote him. In this regard, Lovegrove is Doyle's equal, and he does a fantastic job of showcasing a Holmes who is a bit past his prime but still up to pulling a few crafty tricks.
While the broad strokes of the mystery are easily solvable, the reader will have to unravel much of it along with Holmes, as the sheer scope of the plan is much harder to guess at beforehand. Indeed, after a while 'whodunnit' is no longer the point; the story becomes about the detecting duo's struggle to bring the villains to justice. This allows for some thrilling chase scenes and even a few Home Alone-style japes (we feel this aspect was somewhat misjudged; if you're going to have a chapter dedicated to this, you might as well call the invaders Joe Pesci and the Other One and be done with it).
One thing that does rankle with us is the presence of a chapter (obviously near the end of the novel) which is called ‘Dea Ex Machina’. From what we can tell, it seems to be an attempt to ward off criticisms of this particular plot point. But we thought the titular solution was adequately foreshadowed, so there is little to no point calling it that and it's actually inaccurate to do so.
Pedantry aside, this is an atmospheric mystery which shows just why Lovegrove has become a force to be reckoned with in genre fiction. More, please.