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Sherlock Holmes is about to tour the United States, and Arthur Conan Doyle expects crowds, dinners, and hotel rooms--but instead finds six strangers who have dreamed of a black tower, a sinister power, and a river of blood.
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In the first book of this clever series, The List of 7, Arthur Conan Doyle met the enigmatic Jack Sparks, a secret agent of sorts who inspired him to create the immortal Sherlock Holmes. Now, 10 years after his presumed death, a greatly changed Sparks reappears-just in time to save Doyle from assassins during a steamship crossing of the Atlantic. Bound for America on a celebrity author tour, Doyle has accidentally become involved in a terrifying scheme, which centers around the theft of great holy books from all over the world and the birth of an unspeakable menace in the Arizona desert. Several others are drawn to a new city outside Phoenix, where an old enemy awaits: Eileen Temple, Doyle's lover from the first book; as do an embittered Native American woman, a Chinese assassin, and a gentle and inquisitive rabbi. Several historical figures, too, make cameo appearances; a chance meeting with Teddy Roosevelt is pure delight, and a visit with Thomas Edison reveals an important plot point. Holmes devotees will be delighted by the way Frost alludes to familiar tales from the Sherlockian canon, and all readers should appreciate the wry contemporary touches that spice up this classical-style, slam-bang adventure.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Frost's debut novel, the popular List of 7 (1993), introduced Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a sleuth. This time Conan Doyle is off to America for a whirlwind tour to meet his huge contingent of U.S. fans. Aboard ship, Doyle senses something's afoot when he's asked to help shepherd a priceless manuscript across the ocean. Things turn even more sinister once he reaches America. Six strangers are drawn to the Wild West, dreaming of a dark tower where their destiny awaits them. Doyle, attracted by the mesmerizing power emanating from the six, follows them into a nightmare that ends in shocking revelations, bloody violence, and a most surprising climax. Frost, cocreator of the popular Twin Peaks, is a compelling writer who could do with a little editing to tighten and tone his work. Overall, though, this eerie thriller is entertaining, gripping, and sure to win him new fans, especially those who like their thrillers tinged with the occult. Emily Melton
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