In The Company Of Evil
With the winter months on us and it is cold, snowing and a generally inhospitable time of the year as far as the weather is concerned, I like nothing more than curling up on the couch in front of a warm fire and a good old horror story or supernatural themed tale. And I do enjoy a good story involving vampires! So I knew that I would enjoy reading another tale of Sherlock Holmes battling vampires! It is not the first time I have done so. I have thoroughly enjoyed several versions, Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Horror being one by David Ruffle, Sherlock Holmes and The Affair In Transylvania by Gerry O’Hara being another, likewise Sherlock Holmes and The Whitechapel Vampire by Dean Turnbloom and another of my favourites, Sherlock Holmes and The Tangled Skeinby David Stuart Davies.
This time it was the turn of Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula. The story starts not in Baker Street but in Whitby when on a dark and stormy night a boat is washed up with the Captain is found lashed to the wheel and a mysterious black dog is sighted and the hold of the boat containing boxes of nothing but soil. The case is soon brought to the attention of Sherlock Holmes and as he investigates what he thinks to be a fairly straightforward case soon becomes apparent that it is nothing of the sort and is in fact an investigation into a very ancient evil that has now unleashed itself on England and even the safe sanctuary that is 221B Baker Street. As the story progresses we see both Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson placed in extreme danger and a familiar character in the form of Van Helsingalso joins the fray as the hunt for Count Dracula intensities. Can Sherlock Holmes defeat the evil that threatens to destroy all that stands in its way?
I enjoyed this story very much and was pretty much hooked all week reading it. Even my work colleagues were amused by my updates on events in the story when I came back from lunch break having been away in the fog filled streets of London chasing vampires with Sherlock Holmes! My favourite scenes in the book has to be where Dr Watson takes himself out onto a common where sightings have occurred of a woman in white and where murders have taken place. It is here that his life is endangered and there is powerful imagery used to describe the events that take place. I also enjoyed the confrontation between Holmes, Watson and Count Dracula in Baker Street itself. It is very spine chilling indeed and even had my hairs at the back of my neck stand on end. And I liked the build-up to the finale in which Dr Watson’s worse fears are realised when his wife is abducted and both Holmes and Watson goes after Count Dracula in pursuit.
However despite a gripping read and exciting plot, I felt somewhat let down by the finale of the story. There was no final confrontation with Sherlock Holmes and Count Dracula. I would have liked to have read that. I do feel that the end of the story was rushed by the author which was a pity as I really enjoyed this story a great deal.
Nevertheless if you want a good supernatural tale involving Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson then you will not be bored by this story. Just one word of advice, be sure to have a silver crucifix, clove of garlic and a wooden stake on hand, just in case Count Dracula decides to look over your shoulder and read along with you!