A coded warning of imminent danger sends Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson to the fortress-like country house of the reclusive Jack Douglas. When they arrive too late to prevent a tragic death, the great detective and his chronicler must follow a series of bewildering clues to find a murderer who has vanished into thin air. Only then will they solve the mystery of the dead man's desperate plea: 'Am I never going to get out of the valley of fear?' What is the connection between a corpse with a missing face and a ruthless secret society which once terrorised a desolate region of the United States? With the aid of a local guidebook, a missing dumb-bell, and Dr Watson's umbrella, Holmes unravels a tangled web which stretches over fifteen years and two continents; and in the centre of that web lurks the sinister presence of the most brilliant criminal mind in all England: Professor James Moriarty.More
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unparalleled storytelling from Conan Doyle
Not better, no (how can anything be "better" than Conan-Doyle's original print versions!), but certainly on level par with it entertainment-wise. Conan-Doyle was simply the best at tantalizing his readers with Holmes' fascinating powers of deduction and reason, building up his stories to exciting conclusions and leaving the reader near breathless with tension and wonder. Whether in print or dramatized, the effects upon the reader/listener are similarly thrilling. The audio version contains a few brief Irish saloon songs that fit the story perfectly, and the repartee between Holmes and Watson, as dramatized by two exceptional actors in Merrison and Williams, is exceptional.
Decoding the random letters and numbers in Porlock's message, which uncovered the beginnings of the mystery.
Clive Merrison certainly steals the show, but I can't imagine a better Watson than Michael Williams, and Constantine Gregory as Boss McGinty is superb.
MacMurdo's encounter with Baldwin, interceding on bahalf of the old newspaper publisher to stop Baldwin from murdering him.
This dramatization has all the elements of a great story told - mystery, sharp dialogue, expert acting and direction - and various twists and turns along the way that kept me guessing until the very end.
- Nick Mango