Title: The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Devil and the Four by Sam Siciliano
Published by: Titan Books
Publication date: 7th August 2018
Amazon UK – Waterstones
Sherlock Holmes’s latest case takes him to Paris in pursuit of Marguerite Hardy: a Frenchwoman who fled her London home in mysterious circumstances. Holmes discovers she left after receiving a mysterious letter, containing an obituary and the words “four for the devil”. Holmes’s investigations will take him and his cousin, Henry Vernier, into a world of seduction and betrayal – and lead them to uncover a secret buried for over twenty years.
A huge thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
I really enjoyed this! It blew my expectations out of the water because it was just so different from other Sherlock Holmes stories I’ve read. Sam Siciliano definitely put his own unique stamp on the character. It made the story very interesting and definitely added some vulnerability to Sherlock’s otherwise steely character.
If you are expecting Sherlock Holmes to be the traditional character you’re used to reading about in other books, with his amazing deductions, you’ll be surprised. The Sherlock we are all used to seeing only cares about the case and the cold, hard facts. He doesn’t care about emotions or upsetting anyone, he just wants to solve the case the fastest way possible. But Sam Siciliano’s Sherlock is more emotional, he is kind and caring, and apologises if he upsets anyone. He loves a character in this story and it makes him a lot more vulnerable. At first I was surprised by this and didn’t know what to think but then I decided it was actually quite interesting seeing a different side to Sherlock. I’m not sure what drove the author to make Sherlock fall in love but I’m interested in finding the previous book and reading that to understand all the references to the past.
I must admit I missed John’s presence in this story but I’m not sure if he would have fit this particular plot or the characters. John was always the one who was tuned into people’s emotions and he always drew a line when Sherlock went to far. With Sherlock’s new vulnerability in this story, I’m not entirely sure what role John would have played. Sherlock’s cousin, Henry, was a very likeable character and I enjoyed reading from his perspective.
In part two of the story, the perspective switches to Henry’s wife and I thought this was a bit random because I wasn’t sure that she’d bring anything new to the table. I couldn’t understand why we had her perspective but she was another interesting character. What I didn’t like was we saw less of Sherlock and I mainly read this FOR Sherlock. So to have him keep disappearing and not coming back for ages wasn’t very interesting. However, I did understand a bit more about this woman he loves and found out she’s also a consulting detective which I thought was pretty cool! It was nice comparing their techniques and seeing how different or similar they were to one another. She does mention she learned a lot of it from Sherlock but in this one we don’t see a lot of Sherlock’s deductions in action which is something I greatly missed.
We don’t get to see him explaining everything in great detail at the end and having a lightbulb moment when it finally all comes together. Instead this was just like a typical crime solving case where no deductions where needed which was disappointing. But I can’t argue that the book didn’t have a strong plot with an interesting cast of characters. I liked how it was set in Paris instead of London. I’ve never been Paris but I’ve always wanted to go and Sam describes it beautifully. Sherlock and Henry visit many different people and places which added to the plot and made it more compelling. I was hooked from start to finish and enjoyed it a great deal despite being disappointed by a few things.