Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell

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Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell

Imagine my delight and excitement over reading the novel "Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell" by Paul Kane. I am a fan of both Sherlock Holmes and the Hellraiser movies, and I do enjoy Clive Barker’s other works. I anticipated reading a story unlike any other known to either world.

The first thing I noticed is how the Prologue in this book is similar to the Prologue in Hellbound Heart.

The second thing I noticed was a typo, upon which I cried out, "Aah! It's Baker Street, not Barker Street! I know they are doing a homage to Clive Barker, but, please! For the sake of Sherlockians, get the street name right!"

Homage, indeed. Strap yourselves in, Sherlockians, for our dear Holmes crosses paths with one of horror's most infernal creatures: The Cenobites from Hellraiser fame.

If you have ever wished for a book to bring together two famous characters – such as, say, a crossover of the Sherlock and Hellraiser fandoms – then this is definitely a book worth reading. It brings to life both worlds so skillfully and the two of them seem to mesh together so well. Sherlock and John are hired for a case of people mysteriously disappearing, and while Sherlock knows intuitively that the missing people will not be found alive, he doesn’t know exactly what happened to them. So begins our favorite detective wearing disguises as he goes undercover, and underground, to find the missing people and/or discover what happened to them. It certainly has the makings of a good case for Holmes and Watson, and I found this book hard to put down as I kept reading and wanting to know what happened next. The characters are so interesting and I loved the way Mycroft and Mrs. Hudson added to the story so well. And I saw what the author did there when Watson observed that a scarred character (Lemarchand -- and yes, that name!) looked like a human "book of blood." Ditto with "tortured souls."

But, alas! True fans of the Hellraiser movies do not get what they really want in this book. Sherlock does face off with the Cenobites, yes, but never is he given any facetime with the REAL terror behind it all. You know him as the creature with several pins in his head. What a disappointment. And that is what almost made me hate the book. I wanted to throw it away after I was done reading it just for that purpose. I wanted to scream at it, "You're not a Hellraiser book!"

But then I kept reading. And, oh wow, the story just grew so awesome. It didn't even NEED Pinhead to be such a kick-ass story. What it had in it was enough. I was anguishing over what happened to Holmes and Watson – and then I was cheering on the both of them, as well as Mary (yes! Mary is in it!). So it was the focus being on my beloved characters that made me love this story all over again.

This is most certainly a Sherlock book—despite the Prologue and the Epilogue. (And the Barker reference – let it be known that is the only time “Baker Street” is “Barker Street” in this book.) And it is most certainly a story that I enjoyed reading.

Book Blurb for Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell

Sherlock Holmes faces his greatest challenge yet when he meets the Cenobites, the infamous servants of hell.

Late 1895, and Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion Dr John Watson are called upon to investigate a missing persons case. On the face of it, this seems like a mystery that Holmes might relish – as the person in question vanished from a locked room – and something to occupy him other than testing the limits of his mind and body.

But this is just the start of an investigation that will draw the pair into contact with a shadowy organisation talked about in whispers and known only as ‘The Order of the Gash’. As more and more people go missing in a similar fashion, the clues point to a sinister asylum in France and to the underworld of London. However, it is an altogether different underworld that Holmes will soon discover – as he finds himself face to face not only with those followers who do the Order’s bidding on Earth, but those who serve it in Hell: the Cenobites...

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2017 5.00