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
Synopsis: Struggling writer Doctor Sacker feels trapped in a lifeless, tedious world. This changes when the benevolent doctor gets a patient with an extraordinary mind. When the patient searches for a missing inventor, Sacker sees a story to write and joins the heart-pounding adventure. Accompanying the gifted mind, Sacker finds mystery as well as a great destiny. .. if he can survive the dangerous case.
The Inventor's Game is an unique version of Holmes and Watson in a modern world.
Sherman pulls together a nice detective story, which features a slightly upgraded take on the famous Holmes and Watson creations. Before I continue, lets expand slightly on this Holmes and Watson idea. The infamous detective series created by the brilliant Sir Conan Doyle feature Sherlock Holmes as the lead detective and Dr. Watson as his support and friend. Sherman has used their original character names, Sheridan Hope and Ormond Sacker and has built upon these traits father than the Holmes and Watson we so know and love.
The main story is simple, Dr. Sacker meets detective Hope on the street; Hope is dazaed and confused, high on cocaine and Sacker has the urge to treat him in his central London clinic. Whilst in his high, comatosed state, Hope displays his characteristic talent of investigation, drawing to the conclusion that a tragedy had previously happen which a red-head and Sacker were involved in. This tragedy occurred earlier in the story, when a young boy died in Sacker's arms. This shakes but nonetheless fuels Sacker's interest in the man and later he visits him at his base at 221B Baker Street.
It is here Sacker ask Hope for his permission to interview and write about him as a pay-back for treating him. As this discussion takes place in comes a young woman, who is in search of her father, an inventor, presumed by Hope, to be kidnapped. During her visit, Hope becomes interested in her necklace, given by her father. It is through this that he cracks a hidden code which eventually leads him to the inventor.
It is a simple plot, easily readable and well written (aside from the occasional typo). I enjoyed how the author had tried to bring Holmes and Watson to a modern London and update them to a contemporary audience but I'm not entirely sure he succeeded. Firstly, there were very few spatial references. Of course Baker Street was in there but as to where Sacker's clinic was, all we were given was Central London. I would have thought a street name or even borough name at least would have sufficed.
There were few sections where the traditional features of the detective novels were updated. Hope for instance, went to a version of rehab and rest centres to help his addition. He was ran a detective consultancy rather than being a private investigator and so forth. All things considered, in 19 pages, I'm not sure you can adequately update a traditional story to a contemporary setting. Here is where the next book will come in, The Devonshire Dogs (I'm immediately associating it with the Hound of the Baskervilles), which I'm reviewing over the coming couple of weeks. This will ultimately help build on this point and see whether there is more evidence to support the authors claim.
That said, the structure of the story was very much like the original novels. A person walks in to reveal a crime to Hope, he muses and on their leave decides a course of action. This action follows, whether it is in this case going to the house to re-evaluate the scene of the crime. From here Hope draws his thoughts on the crime, finds evidence to prove his theories and begins to draw to a close the investigation before revealing to us all at the end, hope he came to his conclusions. I thought this element was well executed and it was this which really made me feel like the story was a Sherlock Holmes novel.
My favourite part of any Holmes and Watson novel is the final passage where Holmes reveals how he drew his conclusions together. In this case it was quite a weak link which allowed Holmes to solve his case. I'm not sure it was entirely explained well as the description with the necklace was very confusing.
The author has been brave and daring in their attempt to upgrade Holmes and Watson which must be acknowledged. That said, I don't think it was entirely successful. In it's own right, it is a nice detective story that is well structured and provides a good story-line. 2.5* Stars.
P.S. There is more to follow from this author soon, with my review of another short-story in the series, The Devonshire Dogs.