Wednesday, 6 September 2017

#BookReview Arrowood by Mick Finlay @HarlequinBooks

Arrowood by Mick Finlay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

London Society takes their problems to Sherlock Holmes. Everyone else goes to Arrowood.

The Afghan War is over and a deal with the Irish appears to have brought an end to sectarian violence, but Britain's position in the world is uncertain and the gap between rich and poor is widening. London is a place where the wealthy party while the underclass are tempted into lives of crime, drugs and prostitution. A serial killer stalks the streets. Politicians are embroiled in financial and sexual scandals. The year is 1895.

The police don't have the resources to deal with everything that goes on in the capital. The rich turn to a celebrated private detective when they need help: Sherlock Holmes. But in densely populated south London, where the crimes are sleazier and Holmes rarely visits, people turn to Arrowood, a private investigator who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele and his showy forensic approach to crime. Arrowood understands people, not clues.


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I just can't resist reading a book that is set in the same time as Sherlock Holmes. And, the book did seem really promising with Arrowood being the poor man's Sherlock Holmes. However, I had some problems with the story. First, with Arrowood himself and his Sherlock envy. I mean his alias is Locksher and he can't seem to be able to deal with Sherlock Holmes being so popular. Several times does he rant about that. And, it was irritating, and it didn't get better as the story progressed. Thankfully his trustworthy assistant Norman Barrett saves the day. He is, in my opinion, the one that saved this story and made continue reading. Barrett is also very clever and has not the temperament that Arrowood has. Barrett may be Arrowood's Dr. Watson, but Barrett is pretty clever himself and honestly, he would probably do better on his own.

As for the story. It was not easy to get into. The first time I tried reading it did I put it away because the intro didn't grab hold of me. This time did it go better, but I did feel now and then that the story just didn't hold my interest. What kept me going is that I wanted to know the truth about the missing Frenchman and I also hoped that Sherlock Holmes would make an appearance. All and all the mystery was OK, although I had a hard time remember all the characters that showed up. And, to be honest, Arrowood isn't as clever as Holmes and without Barett would he be at a loss. 

So, would I read more books in this series? Only if the author promised me that Holmes himself would be in it, otherwise I do not have much interest reading more books. This one was OK, but reading more about Arrowood isn't something that interests me much.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

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