In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.
Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…
FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.
FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.
FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.
FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.
OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.
I think I had the same problem with this book that I did with Virginia Boecker’s The Witch Hunter earlier this year. From the summary, I was expecting darkeness and moral complexity and internal conflict. And I got a little bit of that…but mostly I got insta-love and a two-dimensional antagonist and a plot that somehow managed to feel slow despite how short the book was. It didn’t even have the entertaining secondary characters that The Witch Hunter did. Actually, if it weren’t for the length, I probably wouldn’t have finished the book.
However, there were moments of potential. In particular, the ending was a lot darker and more ambiguous than I was expecting, and it made me wonder where Mori’s character would go in the rest of the series (or, since we basically know who Moriarty is in the original Sherlock canon, how her character would get there). But even that part of the story felt primarily like set-up. As a book on its own, Lock and Mori was pretty disappointing.
Oh, look, insta-love! Lock and Mori had maybe two or three meetings before they started kissing and it just did not work for me.
I did not find the plot particularly engaging. Even before I knew what was going on, I could pretty much tell who the book’s main villain was going to be. It also required a lot of suspension of disbelief to accept that the police officers were as incompetent as the ones in this book were.
Lack of communication in fictional characters is my pet peeve, and guess what? It happens here. Mori’s reasoning reasoning to not tell Lock a certain thing felt very flimsy and more like an excuse for the plot to happen than anything else.
The writing was mostly good, and there were a few really strong moments in the story. Lock and Mori had their cute moments, which I maybe would have enjoyed more if their love hadn’t been quite so insta. Mori’s grief over her mother’s death felt very real, and some of the best writing in the book had to do with that.
I also liked the ending. It left Mori’s character and her relationship with Lock in a very interesting place that left me wondering how the pieces would come together in later books.
Finally, I liked the glimpses we got of characters such as Mycroft and Watson, who will obviously turn out to be very important later. Both had some really good lines, and I’m actually very interested in Mycroft and Lock’s dynamic.
So. This book was pretty meh for me. If Sherlock adaptations interest you, I would suggest picking it up at the library or something. I’ll just be over here hoping that A Study in Charlotte will be better.