“It came with the wind through the silence of the night, a long, deep mutter, then a rising howl, and then the sad moan in which it died away. Again and again it sounded, the whole air throbbing with it, strident, wild and menacing.”
Rating: 2.5 stars
I ummed and ahhed about what to rate this book (I’ve already changed it twice) but I settled on a middling two-and-a-half because the climax of the book was particularly engaging and exciting but I really struggled to get there. From about halfway through I was deeply invested, and finished the whole book faster than I expected. However, that only happened when I sat down to force myself to read three chapters to try and progress this book. I’ve had this sat in my currently reading for about a month, which is a particularly long time for me, personally, to have a book sat untouched halfway through (I finished 3 books just this Sunday).
Conan Doyle’s writing in this novel-length story is undeniably accomplished, and the setting he creates is one of my favourite things about this novel. The moors seem to come alive in his description, turning what could be boring landscape into a credible, almost living threat. The climax was, as I mentioned, intriguing, and I didn’t predict the ‘who-dunnit’ ending. Despite all of that, though, I missed out on a lot of details in the first half of the story just because I struggled to actually get through the text itself, and I do wonder if I might have predicted more of the outcome if I had been better able to focus in the earlier passages.
Nevertheless, I do love a Holmes story, and while this isn’t my favourite of the lot, with heavy gothic elements, a frightening hell-beast and the variety of having Watson at the helm, I can see why many people call this Conan Doyle’s best story about the detective.
Note: This review was copied verbatim from my Goodreads account dated May 14th 2019