A plot I kept hoping was more complex than it was, and it turned out not to be. The book could have been about fifty pages shorter and attained the same point.
Well written 'last' adventure of Sherlock Holmes. A solution to the "Jack the Ripper" mystery is startling! Watson observes way more than he ever wanted. This is a real page turner and completely enjoyable read.
Warning: The following review might be slightly spoilery, though I've avoided revealing anything outright.
Looking around the internet, I've noticed that reviews for this pastiche are pretty evenly split between one star and five stars, and now I know why that is. I've just finished reading the book and feel compelled to recommend it to others, with one caveat: if you've ever tried reading 'alternate universe' books or fan fiction about Holmes and Watson, and didn't enjoy it, then don't read this book. This story features an interpretation of canon that is dark and distressing, to say the least, and the descriptions included of the very real Whitechapel murders are vivid and gory, and very much not for anyone with delicate sensibilities. That said, it was a very well-written pastiche - not perfect (I thought Watson was perhaps not quite as bright as he is in canon, and maybe a bit less complex than the somewhat moody fellow we are familiar with from the original stories), but certainly convincing enough that I could mostly lose myself in the tale rather than constantly critiquing the author's characterisation choices. The author's depiction of the titular hero is fascinating, and Holmes's response to this most serious of cases is perfectly believable. I am not prone to crying over books, but my eyes were wet by the conclusion of this story, and I couldn't help thinking that it would make an excellent, if decidedly dark and morbid, film. For anyone who loves Sherlock Holmes, this will be a difficult read, but a very worthwhile one, if you can suspend what you believe and let the author lead you into the shadow realm of human nature, wherein lie our deepest fears.