Monday, October 15, 2018
The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas
When Charlotte Holmes helps her half-brother escape from men who are after him, she senses there is a plot in motion. Her sister, Livia, is an unwitting pawn. Livia annually visits Mrs. Newell, a distant relative. When the cisterns fail at Mrs. Newell's house, all her guests move to Lord Ingram's estate, Stern Hollow. Livia is aware that all society speculates about Charlotte's friendship with Lord Ingram, guessing that it's more than friendship. Then Livia, along with two of the worst gossips in London, find Lady Ingram's body in the estate's icehouse.
The Chief Inspector sent from Scotland Yard does everything in his power to prove Lord Ingram killed his wife. At the same time, Charlotte goes undercover as Sherlock Holmes' brother to discover the truth about the murder.
This third in the series picks up exactly where A Conspiracy in Belgravia ended. That may be confusing to readers who have not read the books. It's leisurely paced, with careful development of the elaborate storyline. While it's an atmospheric story, it's also a thought-provoking view of the expectations and roles of women in Victorian England.
Fans of the series, and readers of Doyle's canon, especially The Valley of Fear, will appreciate the intricately plotted mystery. Others may find it difficult to follow. I'm not a fan of slow-moving novels that take a while to unfold. As I said before, that's my problem, not an issue with The Hollow of Fear.
Sherry Thomas' website is www.sherrythomas.com
The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas. Berkley, 2018. ISBN 9780425281420 (paperback), 336p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received my book to review for a journal.