Saturday, January 19, 2013

ARC Review: Black Ice by Andrew Lane

Black Ice
Author: Andrew Lane
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (January 22, 2013)

Description: A third case for teen Sherlock involves a heinous crime . . . and a brother with blood on his hands
When Sherlock and Amyus Crowe, his American tutor, visit Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, in London, all they are expecting is lunch and some polite conversation. What they find shocks both of them to the core: a locked room, a dead body, and Mycroft holding a knife. The police are convinced Mycroft is a vicious murderer, but Sherlock is just as convinced he is innocent. Threatened with the gallows, Mycroft needs Sherlock to save him. The search for the truth necessitates an incredible journey, from a railway station for dead bodies in London all the way to the frozen city of Moscow—where Sherlock is afoot in a world of secrets and danger.

My Thoughts: In this third adventure in the Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins series, Sherlock accompanies his brother Mycroft to Russia. The story begins with a locked room mystery. Mycroft is found in a room with a knife in his hand and a dead man in a chair. Sherlock and his mentor Amyus Crane investigate in what will be Sherlock's style as an adult and discover the plot but don't know who set the trap or what their goal was. 

Further investigation has Sherlock fleeing from a villain and a group of feral children in underground London where he stumbles upon the Necropolis Railway which carried dead bodies from London to the country for burial. The adventures continue when Sherlock and Amyus are investigating in a nature museum and both are attacked. Sherlock is attacked by a falcon with metal blades on its feet!

Mycroft doesn't know why he is being targeted. He thinks it might have something to do with the sale of Alaska by Russia to the United States. Since he also has a missing agent in Russia, he is determined to travel there to find his friend and perhaps find out why he is being targeted. He brings along Sherlock because he fears leaving him behind will just make him a potential hostage for the unknown villains. They travel under the guise of being the manager and general factotum of a theatrical troupe traveling to Russia to perform famous English plays. One of the actors teaches Sherlock how to change his appearance with theatrical make-up which is still another skill he will use as an adult detective. 

Once in Russia, they run afoul of the secret police and Sherlock finds himself escaping villains underground again. This time he is following the path of an underground river and is beset by feral dogs. After Mycroft is arrested by the secret police it is up to Sherlock to figure out the villains' plans and to find a way to disrupt them.

Adventure lovers of all ages will be swept away by the break-neck pace of this novel. People familiar with the Sherlock Holmes mysteries will see lots of seeds of the man he will become in the fifteen-year-old boy. I really recommend this to lovers of adventure and lovers of mystery of all ages. 

Favorite Quote:
As Sherlock walked slowly around the cathedral, staring all the time, he noticed that it kept changing its appearance. There was no obvious symmetry about it. Whichever angle he examined it from, it was a different shape. Like many things he'd seen in Russia since they had arrived, it looked like a collision between a complete accident and a deliberate creation.
I received this ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the first two and am glad to see the covers no longer feature the Bieber-as-Holmes model!


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