Garment of Shadows
Written by Laurie R. King
Review by Jarad Johnson
In another installment of Laurie Kings thrilling Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series, King delivers an enthralling story. The twelfth book in this series opens with Russel having lost her memory, in a place she doesn’t recognize with armed police at the door. She makes her escape just in time, but for the next couple of days she wanders around a city in Morocco, with her detective skills still intact, before she is found by Holmes.
This book is different from the other in the series that I’ve read. I can’t remember a time when the pair was separated as they were here. While Mary is preoccupied with regaining her memory, Holmes is trying to stop a war, which has been brewing in the country for some time. I found the geopolitical aspects of the book fascinating, especially since the global tensions mirrored what is going on right now. In essence, along with the story itself, we see what a nation looks like when it is on the brink of war, and I confess I found the similarities to close for comfort.
As is usual with King, the descriptions of the country that Holmes and Russell are in really feel like an immersion process. In contrast to some novels, which can use a particular country as a sort of backdrop without really bringing to life it’s cities and customs, King seems to place the reader there instead of forcing us to make inaccurate assumptions without prior knowledge.
Reviewing books in a series can sometimes feel repetitive, as if you are saying the same thing about each book, especially since they carry the same themes and characters. However, I can’t see myself getting tired of King’s rendition of Holmes and Russell anytime soon. I enjoyed this novel so much I read it in one night (which was probably not the best thing to do during college finals week!) I found it to be immersive, as this authors’ writing always is. Her writing plunges the reader into the scene, and the detail with which she describes scenes or events always leaves me with my fingers stuck to the pages like glue. I’m looking forward to the next novel by King that I pick up, and since I have a pile of this series, that will be very soon!
Jarad is the co-administrator and writer for Sacred Chickens, attends college at MTSU, loves tea, and tries to spend every spare second reading. Jarad is an English major. Bless his heart! Let's all light a candle for him and send him happy thoughts!