Saturday, 26 April 2014

Book Title-Sherlock Holmes in Japan
Author-Vasudev Murthy writting as Akira Yamashita
Published by-Harper Collins(2013)
Format-paper Back
No.Of pages-276
Sherlock Holmes in Japan by Vasudev Murthy - a book review
Sherlock Holmes solves his biggest case yet in this seriocomic Missing Years novel
1893: King Kamehameha III of Hawaii declares Sovereignty Restoration Day ... Tension grows between China and Japan over Korea ... The Bengal Famine worsens ... The senior priest at Kinkaku-ji temple is found dead in mysterious circumstances Dr John H. Watson receives a strange letter from Yokohama. The quiet, distinguished Mr Hashimoto is murdered inside a closed room on a voyage from Liverpool to Bombay. In the opium dens of Shanghai and in the back alleys of Tokyo, sinister men hatch evil plots. Professor Moriarty stalks the world, drawing up a map for worldwide dominion.
Only one man can outwit the diabolical Professor Moriarty. Only one man can save the world. And that man has survived Reichenbach Falls.
In a seriocomic Missing Years novel that radically ups the ante, Sherlock Holmes and Dr John H. Watson find their match in more than one man (or indeed, woman). A thrilling chase that will leave you breathless.

My Review
Indian authors fail to impress me as they try to bring nativity while forming sentences and they fail miserably. I have come across very few Indian authors, who have done a justice to the book and also maintained the native touch with a good command of writing.  I must say, that, the author of this book, Mr.Vasudev Murthy is one among those who impressed me. 
Coming back to the book, the novel, Sherlock Holmes in Japan, the author has picked up the story  from the "final problem" by Arthur Conan Doyle.  If the readers will remember,  -Sherlock Holmes supposedly fell to his death at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland after the duel with evil Prof.Moriarty. He was believed to be dead to the world in the time span of 1891-1894.  Murthy weaves a very nice indulging story of Holmes using this missing period.  The novel for most parts, revolves around Europe and Japan. Mr.SherlockHolmes undertakes visits to many Asian countries while on a adventurous trip to Japan.   He also visits India, where he eats 'Bhelpuri' in Chaupati, Mumbai and 'rasgulla' In Calcutta.
Mr.Murthy has not tried to follow the style of narration of Arthur Conan Doyle who was the creator of epic detective, Sherlock Holmes, which I respect as I believe every author has a liberty to portray the characters in his own way as long as the author quenches the reader’s thirst for story. Murthy has done a decent home work on Japanese culture and has imbibed it in every sentence.  This is what I meant about bringing nativeness to the book.  
What makes the book even more interesting is that one the great keepers of Sherlock Holmes legacy in the contemporary world, CALVERT MARKHAM of the Sherlock Homes Society of London has written a foreword for this book.
Its one sit read but I took 3 days to finish.
Like always critic in me woke up and this what she says-Mr.Murthy has done a great work in introducing characters very logically but he has failed to narrate them strategically (blame the author or editor?).character Hiroshi Sugiyama a Japanese diplomat in Switzerland, who plays a major role in rescuing Holmes after he falls from Reichenbach and takes him to Japan in a adventurous way for his hide out while Holmes  is suppose to be dead to the world. Another character-Masako Nohara, a lady of substance, who is a confidential secretary to head of the mission. This rescuer is a traitor and author portrays him as a good man till end only to surprise the reader by revealing his role in putting Japan into grave danger. Lady has been portrayed as woman with beauty and brains, leaving a hint that she can be a traitor only to reveal she is not in the climax. .These two charcters, after their introduction completely vanishes and resurfaces only in the climax. By the time a reader reaches climax, a reader like me who takes days to complete a book would forget these 2 characters who are suppose to be an element of surprise in the story. Author could have done more justice to these charcters.Another 2 charcters-mr.Bose and mr.chatterjee; they don’t connect to the story in anyway other than eating up the pages and making Holmes and Watson to eat Rasgullas.
Climax made me very edgy but would have given me the satisfaction if Author would have done justice to those characters.
Over all it’s a good read and hooks a reader into the book from start to end.
so my rating is-5stars.
Availbility-available in all major book stores also online in flipkart, Amazon and many other online stores.
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