Review – Sherlock Holmes: The Breath of God
Author: Guy Adams
Publisher: Titan books
Amazon Blurb: When several leading society figures begin acting out of character, Holmes is enlisted on an investigation that will see him team up with famed ghost hunter Thomas Carnacki, and the famous occultist Aleister Crowley.
Sherlock Homes meets Aleister Crowley? I couldn’t resist. Sherlock/supernatural combinations tend to be a delicate matter. How to introduce the supernatural without ruining the clear-eyed rationalist, Holmes?
The author does a fine job, delivering an ending that both Sherlock Holmes purists and lovers of the paranormal can appreciate. His descriptions of magical encounters are satisfyingly vivid, delivering a host of Lovecraftian monsters.
The dialog and characters seem culled more from the recent films featuring Robert Downey Jr. than the Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Depending on your perspective, this can be a good or bad thing. There were also more typos than I’d like, but it didn’t dim my enjoyment of this ripping good story.
I also appreciate the Crowley and Golden Dawn research that went into the story. We meet Aleister Crowley after he’s been booted from the Golden Dawn, a magical Victorian society. Crowley and one of the society’s founders, MacGregor Mathers, both claimed they’d gone to magical war with each other. Mathers sent a vampire across the astral plane to attack Crowley, and Crowley retaliated by sending an army of demons led by Beezlebub himself after Mathers. (Unsurprisingly, Mathers was also pushed out of the Golden Dawn after these astral shenanigans). This history provides a solid foundation for the magical attacks portrayed in Breath of God.
If you’re a Holmes fan with a penchant for the paranormal, this may be your book.