Customer Review

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No sinking feeling here, 10 Mar 2001
This review is from: The Moor (A Mary Russell novel) (Mass Market Paperback)
The fourth in Laurie King's series featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, this one returns to Dartmoor, the setting of the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel, 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. And, like in its predecessor there are tales of a ghostly hound out on the moors, this time accompanying an equally ghostly carriage.
This series are always well worth a read. Laurie King brings carries off three significant tricks, each alone being worth the price of admission: characterisation of her leads, local and contemporary colour, and a great plot.
In terms of the first, both Holmes and Russell are depicted as somewhat prickly characters, unwilling to suffer fools gladly, and each with their own areas of interest and expertise. Russell works well by herself, but sparks of all kinds fly when her husband is around (being narrated by Russell, we never see Holmes by himself). In this book, the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould also features strongly, and occasionally view with the leads for our attention. Given he is virtually bedridden, this is no small feat.
The depiction of different kinds of characters and their environments helps bring the story to life. Between those who live on the moor and those who live in the village, lords of the manor and their servants and so forth, we have no opportunity to mistake where and when the book is set. Two scenes which didn't really advance the plot but were wonderful are Russell's meeting with the local witch (as the moor dwellers call her), Elizabeth Chase, and a scene set in the pub where the locals spend the evening singing to entertain themselves - with its attendant rivalry between those who live in the village and those who live on the moor.
Russell's growing understanding of the moor as a place and a presence in the life of its inhabitants also works very well.
And lastly the plot: it's a cracker! I'm not going to give anything more away, but the final outcome was not what I had expected at the beginning of the book.
In summary: what are you waiting for?
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3.7 out of 5 stars (32 customer reviews)
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