Sherlock Holmes is called in on one of his most personal cases ever when his young nephew, Bramwell, disappears. Has he been kidnapped by his own father and forced to marry against his nature or is something more sinister afoot? In his search for answers Holmes and Watson will cross swords with the angelically beautiful Dorian Gray and be forced among degenerates and rapists at Soho's notorious Pandemonium Club. But the truth is more evil than anyone could have suspected.
I had some doubts when I read the blurb, because I'm a fan of the Victorian genre and of Sherlock Holmes in particular and liked very much the Picture of Dorian Gray. I was afraid to be disappointed but I was pleasantly surprised, and fortunately Sherlock Holmes did not turn out to be gay, thank God for that!
We are introduced to Isabel, the younger sister of Sherlock, whose son Bramwell has gone missing. And here begins a descent into hell for Watson and Holmes in search of the lost nephew. A harsh and twisted world that tastes of blood and pain.
I think that mixing these two genres, mystery and fantasy was a clever idea and that the result was very satisfying. I find that Barry Lowe succeeded in creating an interesting story with a dark, dangerous, and exiting atmosphere. I liked the fact that Dr. Watson is the storyteller; the language he uses has more or less the flavor of the time period which is a very good point. The bad point is that the editing is rather poor...
Despite this major flaw, I was nevertheless attracted by this extraordinary adventure and swallowed by this mysterious and perilous underworld. The descriptions of these disreputable places were pretty well done.
Maybe I ask too much but I would have liked to see the famous Sherlock Holmes' skills that were hardly developed here and learn something more about Isabel and her son.
Overall it was an entertaining book to read, that could have been longer. I give 3/5.