The story is set in London's East End, where a mysterious fog has beset the town and is killing people. Sherlock Holmes believes that the fog is connected to a drug lord, but after some investigating, he soon discovers that there might be more cosmic forces at work. Now the legendary detective must face a challenge unlike any other; one that’s fearsome, ancient and not of this world.
As a character, Sherlock Holmes has lent himself well to horror stories throughout the years. In fact, just earlier this year he appeared in Paul Kane’s incredible Hellraiser crossover Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell, which is another successful merging of worlds. If there’s a mystery to be deduced of any variety – human or otherwise – Holmes and his trusted sidekick Watson are perfect protagonists, and The Shadwell Shadows is another tale worthy of their expertise.
The success of Lovegrove’s novel can be attributed to his understanding of both bodies of source material he’s working with. Even in the face of supernatural forces, Holmes and Watson approach it as another case where a plausible, rational explanation can be found. It retains the spirit of classic Holmes, while the integration of Lovecraft mythos is handled with careful aplomb.
The first instalment of a planned trilogy titled The Cthulhu Casebooks, Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows hits the ground running. Fans of both O’Doyle and Lovecraft will find plenty here to enjoy, and while it is undoubtedly an homage to both writers, it’s still very much the work of an author with a unique voice give a new lease of life to classic creations. Bravo.
THE CTHULHU CASEBOOKS - SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SHADWELL SHADOWS / AUTHOR: JAMES LOVEGROVE / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 15TH