The Return of Moriarty: Sherlock Holmes’ Nemesis Lives Again

John Gardner, Author, Robin Sachs, Narrated by
John Gardner, read by Robin Sachs. AudioGO, unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 978-1-62064-266-5
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Unfortunately for this audio edition of Gardner’s intriguing take on the prototypical master criminal, narrator Robin Sachs turns in an uninspired performance. He reads the book’s introduction by Otto Penzler in a matter-of-fact manner, which proves appropriate for this less-is-more analysis of why Professor Moriarty’s role as a shadowy background figure enhances his stature as a villain. However, Sachs uses the same tone and pacing throughout the book—a choice that often falls flat. For example, his rendition of the Napoleon of Crime’s recollection of the 1888 Autumn of Terror—when Whitechapel was plagued by Jack the Ripper—with its description of the killer’s savageries and the confrontation between the Ripper and Moriarty, is languid and devoid of emotion. A Pegasus hardcover. (Nov.)
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