Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra by Alan Vanneman

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Synopsis

"A story for which the world is not yet prepared.” In these words Dr. John Watson, in The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, describes the legend of Harat, the gigantic rat who ruled over the nation of Bada and its “people who were not human.” Their story, hidden for more than a century in Dr. Watson’s dispatch box, is now told at last—in a tale as compelling and colorful as any in the Holmes canon. What begins with a brutal “impossible” murder in a dreary London rooming house soon draws the celebrated master of detection, Sherlock Holmes, and his companion, Dr. Watson, into a hunt that takes them from England to Egypt, to India, and on to Singapore before encountering Harat, a creature even With a case as confounding as any in the original Holmes canon and a tale so terrifying it lay hidden for more than a century in Dr. Watson’s dispatch box, Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra begins familiarly enough. Elizabeth Trent, a bereft widow determined to clear her husband’s name of both suicide and embezzlement, visits literature’s most celebrated detective at his Baker Street flat. Within hours, though, Mrs. Trent herself is dead, and her curious suicide note draws Holmes and Watson into a hunt for a brutal murderer that takes them from England to Egypt, to India, and finally to the city Mrs. Trent has fled—rich, mysterious Singapore. Throughout the course of their sea journey Holmes and Watson contend with a series of formidable foes, and continually the two travelers uncover connections between their enemies and the cunning, ruthless colonial master of Singapore, Lord Barington. They also find an ally in the captain of the Prophet, who tutors them in the mysteries of Bada—a nation of subhumans ruled by the gigantic rat Harat. And in the exquisite Widow Han, keeper of the secrets of Singapore, they find an ally and more, as her exotic charms threaten to undo even the inscrutable sleuth’s defenses against the fair sex. “A rollicking adventure story ... [that] puts a superb spin on the intellectual byplay between Holmes and Watson.... Splendidly written homage.”—Chicago Sun-Times
 

About Alan Vanneman

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The author of many short stories, and writes on-line for the Bright Lights Film Journal.
 
Published January 9, 2002 by Carroll & Graf. 304 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra

Publishers Weekly

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After his weak debut, Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra (2002), which pitted the master sleuth against a race of intelligent rat-men, Vanneman provides a more convincing adventure for Holmes and Watson—a swashbuckling tale of international intrigue centered on a valuable diamond and m...

Jan 05 2004 | Read Full Review of Sherlock Holmes and the Giant...

Publishers Weekly

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In a preface, Watson asserts that the incredible events that follow really happened, but the explanation for the mysterious deaths is so far-fetched and without any attempt at a convincing pseudo-scientific basis that the reader is left not in awe at the author's imaginative speculations but flab...

| Read Full Review of Sherlock Holmes and the Giant...

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