It’s been a year since the shocking death of August Moriarty, and Jamie and Charlotte haven’t spoken.
Jamie is going through the motions at Sherringford, trying to finish his senior year without incident, with a nice girlfriend he can’t seem to fall for.
Charlotte is on the run, from Lucien Moriarty and from her own mistakes. No one has seen her since that fateful night on the lawn in Sussex—and Charlotte wants it that way. She knows she isn’t safe to be around. She knows her Watson can’t forgive her.
Holmes and Watson may not be looking to reconcile, but when strange things start happening, it’s clear that someone wants the team back together. Someone who has been quietly observing them both. Making plans. Biding their time.
Someone who wants to see one of them suffer and the other one dead.
Warnings: gun violence, drug abuse
The third book of the Charlotte Holmes mysteries has our favorite Holmes and Watsons separated for over a year – while Jamie has been learning to get back to normalcy after the events at the Holmes’ house, Charlotte has been away and out of reach, planning to take down Lucien before he gets to retaliate for August’s death. The interesting addition to this book is that we get alternating POVs for Jamie and Charlotte, when we only heard Jamie’s side of the story, with an epilogue by Charlotte, in the previous two books. So, for the first time, we get to hear about Charlotte’s childhood and her training and thinking from herself.
The year-long gap from the previous to this novel means there is a great possibility for a change in characterizations, and it does show. Jamie, devastated by August’s death and Charlotte’s schemes that led to it, is out of the game and wants to get back to normal life, despite the best efforts of his father to keep him interested in these things. He is also been suffering from panic attacks and a heightened sense of paranoia, which means that he second-guesses himself when someone starts sending him cryptic messages and tries to make his life miserable at the school, sabotaging and framing him for petty crimes. Charlotte, meanwhile, has been thinking over everything that transpired the night that August died, and the life she had, the way her childhood that was shaped by her father’s schemes, the Holmes legacy, her addiction, her aversion to social interactions, her friendship with Jamie. There’s some self-hatred going around, but there’s also a lot of introspection into what she wants from her life.
As for the mystery itself, it takes a while to build up, is all I can say without giving anything away. I think, until like mid-way of the novel, I wasn’t sure where things were going, and the pacing was slower to accommodate for all the ‘what happened this past year’ catching up. It does, however, pack a punch, both in terms of plot and emotions. The ending was brilliant, and I loved the epilogue that came after it. A special bonus was seeing Leander getting all paternal about Charlotte, because it was so sweet!
Is it diverse? addiction rep, PTSD
Previous books in the Charlotte Holmes series