I am a big fan of any writer who is capable of creating powerful and memorable characters in literature. And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is no exception. His work on other books may also be quality but it is Sherlock Holmes who will always be remembered. And for good reason. The man is brilliant, eccentric and also flawed in slight ways morally and ethically. He's intriguing, he's slightly dangerous, he's obsessive... Is there no adjective you cannot throw at the blended mix that is Holmes? If I were to put pen to paper and name the most interesting characters in literature Holmes would rate highly. And why is that? Because of the psychology of the character, because he's hard to nail down and because his exact nature is hard to determine. He remains an enigma.
But I digress from this Sherlock Holmes story. I've merely explained why I appreciate Holmes as a character. I very much enjoyed this novel although I must state that I do not believe it to be the greatest Sherlock Holmes adventure although it is the most renowned. It certainly does however feature all the hallmarks of a strong Sherlock story. These of course being: 1. A bizarre story, 2. various motives 3. various threads which do not seem connected and 4. A strong finish that ties it all together. A bizarre story
The Hound of the Baskervilles follows Holmes investigating the mysterious death of an extremely wealthy baronet Charles Baskerville. Supposedly killed by a hell hound from...well hell.Various motives
Which of course leads us to question? Was it the butler - isn't it always the butler? Or was it a distant relative hungry for more money? Was it a psychopath? Was it a hell hound?Story threads
Which leads to: what are the various stories of the major suspects? And how do the stories of non-suspects even fit into our bizarre case?Finished with style
After much confusing subtext we reach the climax where the villain is revealed, the threads woven together and Sherlock Holmes smugly answering ever problem. Of course I saw many aspects of the conclusion before the end but I could not see how they properly fitted together.
I shall now have to read Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervilles to see how this apparently closed case remains open. Because it seems apparent that the author has tied everything together. So if you enjoy Holmes stories and/or detective/crime fiction or classics try this on for size.