Another case. Another mystery to resolve. Most importantly, another opportunity to aid the authority. Well, we know that Sherlock Holmes chooses the case which interests him and he definitely knows how to weigh such. The good thing about him is even though he is not directly connected to the police force or to whatever investigating organisation there is, he still helps them when necessary.
The way Holmes looks into proofs and order of events is really something he can call his own. It is just amazing how he arrives at conclusions which are at first seem improbable.
The Valley of Fear is another murder case, which turned out to be a ‘mistaken identity’ murder case. As always, thanks to Holmes’ masterful deduction. The man who was killed in this story was not really the victim for he was exterminated as a result of self-defense.
I thought the story as a whole was good. Though I got bored at some parts (which is normal for me especially when neither Holmes nor Watson is in the scene), specifically during the ‘flashback’ part where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle yet again lavishly poured in all the details accounting to the history of the Valley of Fear and Jack Douglas’ (the ‘murderer’) horrible yet meaningful past. The inclusion of such details however, is an integral part in the entirety of the story. This part allowed me to fully understand why Jack Douglas also known as Birdy Edwards of the Pinkerton’s force and Jack McMurdo of the lodge, has been elusive for years, always living in fear, and why he has enemies who are willing to search for him to the ends of the earth and leave him lifeless all in the name of vengeance.
I came to understand as well why Jack Douglas was left with the only option of killing Ted Baldwin (the guy who was thought of being him in the beginning of the story).
Unexpectedly, it has a bitter ending. Even though Jack Douglas was acquitted of the murder charge and flew away from England with his wife, his enemies were still able to locate him and kill him. Yes, he was killed, he was murdered. And the man behind this well-staged act is none other than..Professor Moriarty! I thought I’d last read about him in Volume 1 but obviously I was wrong. I have to brace myself for more Holmes and Moriarty action this time. Bring it!
Oh and before I end this blog, I just want to share another important trait of Sherlock Holmes which was presented in this novel.
“I am not a whole-souled admirer of womankind, as you are aware, Watson, but my experience of life has taught me that there are few wives, having any regard for their husbands, who would let any man’s spoken word stand between them and that husband’s dead body. Should I ever marry, Watson, I should hope to inspire my wife with some feeling which would prevent her from being walked off by a housekeeper when my corpse was lying within a few yards of her. It was badly stage-managed; for even the rawest investigators must be struck by the absence of the usual feminine ululation. If there had been nothing else, this incident alone would have suggested a prearranged conspiracy to my mind.”
– Sherlock Holmes on Mrs Ivy Douglas
To know Sherlock Holmes in every way is definitely the best part! I couldn’t be happier. 😀
Photo credits: Image used was grabbed online. Credit to owner.