I don’t often add fictional books into my reading rotation, but when I do I want something excellent. I’ve always been fond of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, but The Valley of Fear is a cut above!
Doyle was a medical doctor. Probably because of my medical/science background, I’ve always found Dr. Doyle’s scientific observations through the eyes and brain of his first-rate detective to be quite intriguing. I also appreciate how Doyle gives his readers all of the same evidence that Sherlock Holmes observes so that the solution becomes an enlightening “Aha!” moment.
The Valley Of Fear had an added dimension to it. The main part of the crime is solved fairly early in the story, but then one of the characters hands Dr. Watson a written narrative that turns out to be the backdrop to the commission of the crime. Dr. Watson then spends almost all of the remainder of the book telling the story that was given to him. So the crime is committed, the crime is solved, and then we read an in-depth account of what led to the crime. Just as with all of Doyle’s stories, all of the clues are readily available in this narrative, which makes the “Aha!” culmination of this behind-the-scenes narrative all the more satisfying.
This book is a wonderful way to either start your Sherlock Holmes reading adventure or continue your enjoyment of these wonderfully-rich stories.