Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Sherlock Holmes is a character who, decades after decades, continues to fascinate both readers and writers from all over the world, Sherlockian pastiches keep appearing and eliciting interest. To satisfy the insatiable appetite of Sherlockian fans new adventures are created , new investigations are imagined.
A special subgenre is represented by stories where Holmes has to face the supernatural, the paranormal, the occult. Fine examples are the three Gaslight anthologies published by Edge Books. One of the contributors (he penned stories for two of the said anthologies) is William Meikle, a Scottish writer now relocated in a remote corner of Newfoundland, whose latest book is a Sherlockian novella entitled “Revenant”, published by the prolific American imprint Dark Regions Press specialized in horror and supernatural fiction.
Although quite faithful to the canons of the original Conan Doyle’s body of work (e.g. Dr Watson is the narrator of the new adventure), the novella, aptly dedicated to “Baker Street Irregulars everywhere” tries to break new ground by giving to the plot a kind of epic nature involving the destiny of not only of the United Kingdom but perhaps of the whole human race. Thus odd events taking place in the British House of Lords soon acquire the meaning of a global menace behind which lies the evil, powerful mind of a man who should be long dead and gone. This paranormal atmosphere who, strangely enough, is accepted and understood more easily by the rational Holmes than by his faithful companion Watson, is further complicated by quite real, although unexpected problems when Holmes and Watson, accused of murder are pursued by the police, as well as by a deadly enemy.
Taking place from London to secluded Scottish villages, the story develops with a breathtaking pace and a gripping atmosphere. Meikle’s novella is quite enjoyable, the plot well conceived and the narrative style elegant and effective. Baker Street Irregulars should quickly secure a copy of the book.