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Book Reviews - Review 253

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Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Category: Fiction | Published: 1902 | Review Added: 09-05-2012

Rating: 4 - A top read

Sir Charles Baskerville dies of a heart attack after being chased by a huge ghostly dog near his Dartmoor home. His friend Dr. Mortimer enlists the services of Sherlock Holmes to help protect Sir Charles' nephew Sir Henry Baskerville, who is returning from America to inherit the Baskerville estate. Mortimer fears that danger awaits the heir, partly owing to an old superstition surrounding a canine spectre that is said to haunt the moor.

Holmes' sidekick Watson is dispatched to Dartmoor to keep watch over Sir Henry while Holmes deals with other matters. Surprising and sinister events proceed at quite a pace, and Holmes joins in on the action towards the end of the novel.

This was my first experience of Conan Doyle and I got what I expected: a readable, fast-paced and atmospheric story with more thrills than frills. The plot is, of course, absurd - but within the context of the genre it is well thought-out and the reader is kept in suspense all the way through. Conan Doyle is no great prose stylist, and it would be stretching it to claim The Hound of the Baskervilles has serious literary merit. To insist that it should have is missing the point: it's great fun.

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