Book Review: Young Sherlock Holmes, Knife Edge by Andrew Lane


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This is the 6th book in Lane’s very successful series of books exploring the adventurous life of an adolescent Sherlock Holmes. After his enforced leave, by the Paradol Chamber, from Britain, Sherlock thinks he is on his way home only to find a stop off at Galway reunites him with his web weaving brother Mycroft.

He has been intercepted to help Mycroft – and the British Government, of course – assess the veracity of a psychic who claims to be able to contact the dead on demand. A very useful tool in the hands of the right and the wrong people. Indeed, the German, Russian and US governments are all interested in looking into the possibility of exploiting the capabilities of the medium. And so, his skills are being put up for auction.

Suitably, the backdrop for the auction is at a remote castle on the west coast of Ireland. The haunting setting is used skilfully by Lane and his characters to explore the claims and counter claims of the ability to connect with the dead. In the meantime, a couple of mysterious deaths and the legend of a local beast in the castle grounds has people on edge.

All the while, Sherlock is here to be, well, Sherlock.

In Knife Edge Sherlock is growing into a man and his attraction to the local girl is torn asunder by the presence of Virginia who is here with her father, the American delegate and Sherlock’s mentor.

The medium, Ambrose Albano, is under the sponsorship of Sir Quintillian who owns the castle. The question Holmes and his brother Mycroft have to answer is simple, is Albano a fraud?

By the end there are twists and turns like Tommy Burns and some fine honing of Sherlock’s logical approach as he gets to the nub of a very tangled skein involving some characters familiar to fans of this series.

Another triumph for Lane as this series goes from strength to strength. His imaging of young Sherlock is thoroughly well thought out, accurate in many ways it would seem and so cleverly links the young Sherlock with that of ACD that you could well believe that they were one in the same.

8/10
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