By Cynthia Bujnicki
Moriarty’s is back, and his shadow looms over Charlotte’s life and the lives of everyone she loves. First, her half-brother mysteriously disappears, and the estranged wife of her close friend and romantic interest is found dead no the family property. Charlotte must pull out all her skills in deduction to solve the murder and absolve her friends and loved ones.
Published October 2, 2018, by Berkley The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas is the third novel in her historical retelling of Sherlock Holmes following one brilliant Charlotte Holmes as she tackles her toughest mystery yet.
What an excellent novel. Honestly, it is great to see Charlotte cross-dress in order to solve the crime finally. It is incredible to see Charlotte in the field as Holmes finally, maybe not as Charlotte, but as another Holmes that is just as deductive. It is a fantastic twist of the events but made the novel even more enjoyable. Seeing Charlotte take the reins and take control of the situation raised the tension in the novel. Charlotte rises to the occasion and finally, in a way, gets to do her deductive work without passing it off as Sherlock’s. It is fun and imaginative, and once again Charlotte gets to shine. Charlotte’s personality is more charismatic in this novel than it is detached like it is the previous novel. She has more interaction with people who love her and understand her detached behavior allowing her to focus on the significant crime happening.
The fact that there is one significant mystery as well in the novel makes the focus on the novel and the tension more focused. The narrative flows better than in the previous novels, and the fact that the novel does not have so many complexities and convoluted mini-mysteries allows the tension of the scandal in this novel to have a fuller impact than in the previous novel. Now that does not diminish the Sherlockian way of storytelling but instead changes it to suit the tension in The Hollow of Fear. It is easier to follow. The multitude of cases that Holmes takes in this novel are limited and link together in a more precise form, without too much of a stretch. That is part of what makes this novel superior to the others.
The storytelling is more active with limited POV’s allowing the transitions to be easier to follow for the reader. The story is invigorating and following Charlotte in her mystery solving. This novel is more engaging than the previous novels and deals with mystery solving in a new way for Lady Sherlock. (★★★★☆ | A)