Review of Young Sherlock Holmes: Red Leech
Sherlock Holmes is at it again. While eavesdropping on a conversation between his brother, Mycroft, and his tutor, Amyus Crowe, Sherlock discovers that one of the world’s most famous assassins might be a mere bike ride away from him. Intrigued, he decides to investigate the address in question. However, Sherlock’s minor investigation proves to have consequences when the criminals decide to kidnap his best friend, Matty, after discovering them on the premises. In order to save Matty, Sherlock, Amyus Crowe, and Crowe’s daughter, Virginia, journey to America. Gradually, they find themselves entangled in a plot that threatens the fate of the entire nation – a plot that must be kept secret at any cost…
Andrew Lane once again creates an intricate plot that includes a lot of action and suspense. He skillfully develops the characters of Sherlock and Virginia as well as the relationship between them. Lane also introduces Sherlock’s love of the violin in this book, which refers to the adult Sherlock’s violin-playing in the Conan Doyle books. However, Matty remains relatively undeveloped; consequently, his only purpose in the novel appears to be rescuing Sherlock from the dangerous situations that Sherlock manages to get himself into. Additionally, the main antagonist seems similar to that of the first book in the Young Sherlock Holmes series, Death Cloud, in a few notable ways. For instance, in both books, the villain’s plan threatens the well-being of an entire nation. Furthermore, both antagonists suffer from physical deformities and health issues. Despite these similarities, Red Leech remains different enough from the Death Cloud to be a nice read and a satisfying sequel.