Sherlock Holmes is not normally one to raise to a wager. However, when a newspaper in Oxford runs the story that Professor Quantock has created a computational device known as the Thinking Engine, and has offered a wager that it can outthink the great Holmes himself, he finds himself and Watson headed to the famous college town. As they come to town, Holmes soon finds he has more than one case to solve, but the Thinking Engine always appears to be one step ahead. Is Holmes truly being outsmarted, or is there a secret behind the machine?
While Sherlock Holmes: The Thinking Engine, by James Lovegrove, starts off with lighthearted moments with Houdini and a museum’s secret, it rapidly goes into murder and mayhem. From the murder of an entire family, to the strange shooting death of a man and the poisoning of a man with a good bottle of champagne. One of the more disturbing sequences of the book involves Sherlock Holmes going on a several day bender on laudanum and nearly kills himself. Without the help of Watson, it felt like Sherlock would not have made it through the entire book. The book also features familiar villains, making for a strange ending with one of the most famous villains in the lore.
Sherlock Holmes: The Thinking Engine is a satisfying book, wrapping up to a fascinating conclusion. Unfortunately, it also delves deeply into the addiction lore of Holmes. Throw in some pretty horrific aftermath to previous adventures and you get some horrific sequences.
Sherlock Holmes: The Thinking Engine is now available from Titan Books.