Sunday 6 February 2011

Book Review - The Sign Of Four

Title: The Sign Of Four (Sherlock Holmes)
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Publisher: Penguin Classics
ISBN-13: 978-0141034379

A dense yellow miasma swirls in the streets of London as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson accompany a beautiful young woman to a sinister assignation. For Mary Marston has received several large pearls – one a year for the last six years – and now a mystery letter telling her she is a wronged woman. If she would seek justice she is to meet her unknown benefactor, bringing with her two companions. But unbeknownst to them all, others stalk London’s fog-enshrouded streets: a one-legged ruffian with revenge on his mind – and his companion, who places no value on human life … 

My Review
I have always loved Sherlock Holmes and read many adaptations, but I had never read the original stories so i decided to work my way through them. This is the second book in the series, and at a mere 118 pages it didn't take me long to read.
These books are definitely Classics, Conan Doyle creates a whole different world you can get lost in, Sherlock is a fascinating character so sure of himself and intelligent and masterful, I love seeing how he comes to his conclusions and am often surprised by what he picks up and finds. Many things we would never spot and would never come to the same point, but he is so observant it's almost magical.
The stories are written from the view of Dr Watson - Holmes trusty companion and you get a real feel for all the characters through him. Watson is a great friend and documents all the adventures he and Holmes go on. 
In this case Holmes starts off very melancholy, almost depressed with no cases and therefore no stimulation for his brain, he is feeling unwanted, until a young lady named Mary comes calling asking for help. Following on from the death of her father, every year for the past six years she has received an expensive pearl in the post with no name or traceable address, but now she has been asked to go and meet a stranger to get answers for all the 'wrongs been done to her'. She goes to Sherlock for advice, should she meet the men, and what wrongs are they talking about, and why are they sending her pearls. 
No case is ever what it seems and only Holmes can solve the mystery. Suddenly plunged into a full murder case Sherlock has his work cut out for him.
This book is fast paced and exciting. I had many theories on who had been behind it all, and loved to see how it was all worked out. 
For anyone who hasn't read these books i strongly recommend it. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a wizard of words and weaves a thrilling tale. If you enjoy mysteries and adventure these books are for you.

My Rating
I would give this book 8.5/10, an excellent exciting story.


La Toya said...

Love this review!!! I'd like to read this book now. Although when i read the synopsis, I was like "Huh?!" but then I read it again and I was like "Oh!"

barmybex said...

hehe, is a bit confusing at first, but they are good books :D