Saturday, June 27, 2015

Edi's Spotlight: Sherlock Holmes: Gone in the Fog by Ray Ziemecki

Dear Readers,

today is Saturday, June 27th 2015 and a couple of minutes ago, I finished a book which touched me at the bottom of my heart. It left me deeply affected and I needed an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. There was no one at home I could talk to except our cat. Then I switched on my PC and started to write instead and this is the result. 

We all have dreams and it is most joyful when a dream comes true. I  do not know how author Ray Ziemecki felt when he became a published novelist at age 78!! [Source].

I only know how I felt when I finished Sherlock Holmes: Gone in the Fog (digital, January 2013) [Kindle ASIN: B00R0JS87Q] by Ray Ziemecki.

"It's 1914, the eve of the Great War. After a lengthy absence Holmes returns to Baker St. But, what has happened to bring about the shocking condition he was in? What strange adventure has reduced him to such an appalling state? Can Dr. Watson bring him back? And then came that chill winter night when Holmes stepped out of the front door and simply disappeared.

Gone in the fog." [Source]
After reading the 290 pages which are divided into eleven consecutive numbered chapters followed by a remarkable epilogue it is time for thoughts and emotions.

My brain is like a beehive which fits perfectly to the mentioned The Apiarist Handbook.
please bear with me when I deliver my thoughts not in a perfect order.

First of all it is important to state that this is definitely a Dr. John H Watson story. Even if the famous detective is mentioned in the title and despite his appearances within the story it is Ray Ziemecki's homage to one of his literary history’s most beloved characters.
After reading Dead Man's Land (digital, January 2013) [Kindle ASIN: B007JKSHFO] by Robert RyanSherlock Holmes: Gone in the Fog was  the second book celebrating Dr. John H Watson.

It is the love of this character which makes this book extraordinary in the universe of Sherlock Holmes stories. I'm pretty sure that it will be impossible for me to read all existing and still to come Sherlock Holmes stories until I die. But that is not my target. I'm more than happy when I can follow especially Dr. John H Watson during such emotional adventures as delivered with Sherlock Holmes: Gone in the Fog.

At this point it is important to tell you that I love to read Holmes and Watson stories but I'm far beyond to be a profound expert of all Holmes and Watson related stuff which are called Sherlockians.
If you want to know more about it please follow the links at the end of the review.

For now let me tell you that Ray Ziemecki stuck to the Canon of Sherlock Holmes and all the dates I use refer to the Table of Major Events by Leslie S. Klinger.

Now follow me or to be more precise meet Dr. John H Watson  in London on the eve of World War I.
By 1900 in Britain life expectancy was about 47 for a man and about 50 for a woman. In 1914 Watson turned 62 and Holmes turned 60. That means they have been old and both lived a demanding life and there will come the time where such a life take its toll.
Holmes returns from a case in a critical condition. Watson fears the worst. He spends all his energy to nurse Holmes who does not want to talk about what happened. Watson has to fight against the repeated calls for Holms' service from the Government in form of his brother Mycroft Holmes who is seven years Sherlock's senior!
Despite the fact that he was far to be fully recovered, Sherlock Holmes served again his country and collapsed. After a stay in hospital it is Watson who nurse him again. Sherlock is not more than a shadow of his former self. But due to the intense and caring effort of Watson Sherlock made a little progress. He seemed to be on a good way until the evening when Sherlock went to buy tobacco for his pipe and did not return - Sherlock Holmes: Gone in the Fog
What happened to Sherlock Holmes?
The answer is delivered in the second part where a sick with a fever, a starting pneumonia, injured and weakened Watson set every available wheel in motion in search for Holmes.
This is the time where Watson shows his true heart and surpassed himself. It is also the part where the talent of Ray Ziemecki shines even more brightly than in the first part.
He is a master of describing Watson's emotions and the threefold inner dialogue is excellent. There is Watson himself with his thoughts and the devil who mocks him. The following quote is an example for that:

"Quoth the devil:
"Little Dr. Watson's, playing in the rain,
trying to ignore lots and lots of pain,
searching all in vain.
He keeps on trying,
doesn't know he's dying.
Thinks that I'm lying ..
Ha! Ha! Ha!" [p. 249]
But there is also light in the dark. It is Sherlock Holmes who is giving advice and stands as firm as a rock against the devil's mocking.
There are such intense passages where I really felt Watson's pain.
Will Watson and all the helping hands rescue Sherlock Holmes? The answer is no secret. But there is a price to pay from everyone involved.

Beside all the inner dialogues and action Ray Ziemecki  delivers a vivid description of London, the living in different quarters and remains of the nearly vanished Victorian era. It is that down-to-earth that poor people from the bottom of social classes do not speak proper English. In parts it was a challenge for me because English is not my first language.

Sherlock Holmes: Gone in the Fog ends with an epilogue. It was a real surprise for me.

Kudos to Ray Ziemecki !

 It takes passion, love and endurance to let a dream come true. To present such a debut at the age of 78 is unbelievable. It is the admirable example that age is no limit for dreams.

Sherlock Holmes: Gone in the Fog 

I want to read more books by Ray Ziemecki. starring Dr. John H Watson and Sherlock Holmes. He is currently working on his second book Holmes and Watson: The Twilight Years which will be published in 2016.

Therefore I hope and wish that Ray Ziemecki will live

Additional Information

There are many sites and organisations who deliver information about Dr. John H Watson and Sherlock Holmes.
As promised I share with you the links of the ones I like

The Baker Street Babes


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll have to pick it up then!

ediFanoB said...

Hi Alex,

I hope you will like it.

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