In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.
Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…
FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.
FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.
FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.
FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.
OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.
Most Sherlock retellings focus on the most famous detective of all time, and his partnership with Watson, but this one is unusual in that it makes his famous nemesis Moriarty, the protagonist of this tale. In this modern retelling, we get the story building up Moriarty, or Mori as she is known her, as a girl with a difficult home life and something simmering in her veins. Initially, she joins Lock’s investigation of a murder in the park out of sheer curiosity and because he is perceptive enough to see the spark of genius in her too. Lock is taken by her – her brilliance, her strength and her mystery, and she by his understanding of her. However, she has too many demons to let him see the darkest parts of her life, even is he is her refuge.
I have seen two retellings where a romantic relationship between Sherlock and Moriarty has been hinted – one is the TV show Elementary (yay for Natalie Dormer as Moriarty) while the other is A Study in Charlotte, but both still focus on the partnership between Sherlock and Watson. In this book, Watson is but a character in the wings, and serves more for nostalgia than the plot. But the sparks and chemistry between Sherlock and Moriarty – oh, that was good; you could see how a relationship between these two geniuses would develop in a different world. Also, a shy adorkable teenage Sherlock, who gets flustered even by Mori holding his hands – these two were too good. That being said, the similarities to the original end here – as I said, it is more of an origin story for Mori, to get a glimpse into the head that would soon become a criminal mastermind.
The author develops both these characters very well, and while it is not a traditional Sherlock retelling, it has enough going for it in the mystery department that even diehard Sherlock purists might end up loving it. The basis of the story being centered around Mori means we don’t really get to know much of Lock aside from when he is with Mori, but we also get a glimpse into his nature via his protective older brother Mycroft, who is honestly such a great secondary character. Another lovely character and beautiful friendship I adored was that of Sadie; her affection for Mori and the bond between the two was heart-breaking. At first I did not see the significance of her character, but towards the end when the events led to it, I saw how it shaped Mori’s characterization. In short, this is a series I am going to keep my eye on – it has promise and potential and feels refreshing.