After her family´s death in an automobile accident that she barely survived, Russell still owns a couple of houses and has business interests in San Francisco, but she has been reluctant to return. Already on the boat she stops eating and becomes ridden by nightmares and Holmes feels that she is no longer herself. Clearly, this is a great trauma in Russell´s life and she dreads her home-coming.
While she submerges herself in grief and stumbles about in the debris of her past, Holmes starts an investigation into Russell´s dreams by himself, concealing this from Russell. He finds himself a couple of Irregulars, among them the future writer of detective stories, Dashiell Hammett. Now, I have only seen "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Thin Man" on screen, but that´s enough to realize that this book is probably littered with references to Hammett´s work.
Anyway, as per usual, I will not spoil anyone´s fun by telling you what happens, but it´s suspense all the way through. And for the first time in the series, King divides the narrative into the two perspectives of Russell and Holmes, something that didn´t feel entirely comfortable at first (to me, at least) but it´s made necessary by the story, really. And it works.
|From the Sherlock Holmes Museum, visited a week ago, haha!|