Author: Demetrius Sherman
Published by: Self-published
Date published: 2012
Format: E-Book (PDF)
Length: 19 pages
Genres: Fiction, Short-Stories, Detective Series, Sherlock Holmes, Murder Mystery
The Synopsis: A violently fatal animal attack on a millionaire’s daughter is far beyond the usual. Hope and Sacker goes on a danger-filled hunt for answers, but the deeper they go into the search, the more they become convinced that the case involves much more than vicious dogs
First seen in The Inventors Game, the kindhearted Doctor Sacker finds himself in a deadly case that effects the entire country.
The Review: Before I even began reading this short-story I instantly knew it would be a take on the legendary Hound of the Baskervilles...and I wasn't wrong.
Ashley Bramford is found mauled to death in Hampstead Heath Park. The daughter of Kirkham Bramford, CEO of Britannia Oil, was running through the park when the attack happened. Her father will throw any resources and means to find the killer animal and enlists the help of Hope.
The plot in this short-story is much more solid than in The Inventors Game. In this instance, the Hound of the Baskervilles plot has been updated to a modern audience. The underlying reason for the animal being so vicious was that it was pumped full of drugs (and so to ensure it would always win against any opponent). This concept of dog-fighting was really plausible and very cleverly used to update the original story.
That said, there is no reference to the original story or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle anywhere in the book. Though it may be blindingly obvious to the majority of readers, with the 'Baskervilles' name-tag, I was surprised that not even so much as an acknowledgement was given to Conan Doyle. Should the books, The Inventors Game and The Devonshire Dogs, be sold as a collective item, it would be fine (as an acknowledgement is given in the first book). However, if they're being sold separately, a reference to Conan Doyle should at least be given. It's not just out of respect to the author; there are copyright laws as well.
The punctuation in certain cases was quite clumsy. There were a few cases of missing punctuation between sentences and a variation in spaces between opening and closing quotation marks. The layout of the story also went slightly amiss at one point; on page 11 it was completely blank. Whether this is intentional or due to converting the book into different formats I do not know.
The Verdict: In conclusion I feel that the author succeeded in updating the plot of The House of the Baskervilles to a modern audience. That said, the issues with the writing undermined it for me. In a way it felt both the plot and writing had been rushed which is a shame as this could have been a really solid piece of work. 2* Stars.