TITLE: SHERLOCK HOLMES vs. CTHULHU
AUTHOR: Lois H. Gresh
BLURB: A series of grisly murders rocks London. At each location, only a jumble of bones remains of the deceased, along with a bizarre sphere covered in strange symbols. The son of the latest victim seeks the help of Sherlock Holmes and his former partner, Dr. John Watson.
They discover the common thread tying together the murders. Bizarre geometries, based on ancient schematics, enable otherworldly creatures to enter our dimension, seeking to wreak havoc and destruction.
The persons responsible are gaining so much power that even Holmes’s greatest enemy fears them—to the point that he seeks an unholy alliance.
I’ll admit I’m a Holmes fan and enjoy the character in (almost) all of his manifestations. That’s what caught my eye when I came across Lois H. Gresh’s novel, along with the sub-title The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions. Sadly the book didn’t live up to my expectations, but that may not entirely be the author’s fault.
While I know of H P Lovecraft and his works I have to admit I haven’t yet read any of his books ( a compendium has decorated my bookshelves for years now but I suspect I bought it for the beautiful binding and cover…). Perhaps that was a disadvantage when reading this novel and I have to take responsibility for that.
However, there were other aspects of the book that I couldn’t quite get to terms with and principal amongst them was the inordinate amount of time given to Watson’s angst about his wife and son. I felt it was a terrible distraction from the story itself and after a few chapters I wanted to scream. It didn’t help that the dialogue was stunted and didn’t flow the way it should have and indeed has done in most other Holmes outings.
Changing narrator for odd chapters was very off-putting too and especially a chapter that quite honestly seemed to me to be written in gibberish.
All in all, I felt like I was reading a bad script from a 60s Hammer Horror adaptation of a lesser known Denis Wheatley novel. The fact there are more novels to come in this series baffles me a bit, but I’m afraid I won’t be tagging along for the ride.