Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr Moreau is Guy Adams’ second novel in the Sherlock Holmes ‘verse, and he does well with the tone and character voice – possibly the most important part when taking on the beloved character. Rest assured, Sherlock Holmes fans, Guy Adams is a worthy writer of the beloved fandom.
Holmes and Watson come into the case when several corpses start appearing over London. Probably not out of the ordinary in those times, except they seem to have been killed by wild animals. Through this, they discover they are the result of experiments by Doctor Moreau – determined to prove the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin – but now uncontrollable. In this chaos, Doctor Moreau is trying to gain control of the government, and unless Holmes can do something, he may just succeed.
The novel in general has a bit of moral depth to it as Sherlock considers the ethics of what they’re dealing with, and whether it’s right or wrong depending on who’s wielding the needle.
Most (but not all) of the original Sherlock Holmes tales were told by Dr John Watson. This novel is told mostly from his point of view, with a small part at the end from Sherlock Holmes and then a few other characters. While Sherlock’s parts were done well, I thought the others jolted the tale out of its pace and feel somewhat, and probably would have preferred they weren’t part of it.
Lestrade makes an appearance, as does Mycroft (as he’s the one who gets his brother on the case after all), and we see Sherlock Holmes taking on a few assistants in this tale, as he usually did in the original stories – something that parts of the general fan group seem to forget.
In addition to Doctor Moreau, characters from other classics also appear. Hopefully this will also encourage readers to hunt down a copy of the H.G. Wells classic, The Island of Dr. Moreau. Professor Lindenbrook from A Journey to the Centre of the Earth is also present, but at all times I think we can safely say this is of Sherlock Holmes fandom and no other.
Thanks to the crisp writing, quick-witted and amusing dialogue and steady pace, this book is a fast and enjoyable read. It is quick, but overall realistic – although sometimes action scenes happen a little too smoothly to be entirely believable. It shows off London well, including parts of London the usual tourist may not see, and the ending is very satisfying. Overall, Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr Moreau is a worthy and recommended addition to the Sherlock Holmes universe.
Check out Katharine’s interview with Sherlock Holmes author, Guy Adams