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Publisher's Summary

Deep in England's green and pleasant land something evil lurks....
Dr. John Watson is back home, fresh from his time in the trenches of Flanders Fields. The horrors of war weigh heavy on his mind, and now his task is to help rehabilitate soldiers suffering from the crippling effects of shell-shock.
But the war is not yet over and in one corner of England lies a secret, one that the establishment is determined to keep under wraps. For in the woodlands of the lush countryside, the government is building the secret weapon which will win the war for Britain. Here, they are developing the land ship - never-before-seen "tanks" which the army is convinced will end the stalemate on the Western Front.
But then disaster strikes. After a training exercise in one of the tanks, eight men are mysteriously struck down, seven of them dead. There is just the one survivor, and he's not talking. It is clear something is horribly wrong, and the army calls in the only man who will know how to solve the mystery: Dr. John Watson.
©2014 Robert Ryan (P)2015 Simon & Schuster
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Valerie on 02-01-18

Good but ...

The author's depiction of her aging characters is excellent. The plot is complex, interesting, and grounded in historical fact. However, she pushes the plot into the realm of modern excess by carrying the story beyond the believable. There are at least two good points where the book could have ended and it would have seemed a great addition to the Holmes cannon. Instead it starts to feel like a modern swashbuckling or sci-fi series, where the characters perform more and more difficult feats in the face of overwhelming odds and opportune coincidences.

Then I find it unforgivable that there is no discussion at the end of the book about the historical facts upon which the story is based. In order to separate fact from fantasy I had to resort to a couple hours with Wikipedia, satisfying only one of my three-subject questions.
Meandering on Wikipedia is not a bad thing, except that I listen to books because it is hard on my eyes to read text. And it appears that the name she assigns her villain is that of a real person, who does not appear to be at all villainous in real life. And, I'm sorry, but I think she needs to address that out of respect. Did she do it on purpose or by accident?

This is a good book with very good narration, but it left me weary, in a temper, and disinclined to listen to the next book in the series.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Rachel on 03-09-16

Oh dear, Watson.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, for twenty die hard fans of Holmes there are at least 20% hard core Watson fans who wanted to get to know the 'real' Dr.Watson uncensored by his own pen. In order to be best pals with Sherlock Holmes, one cannot be a total idiot who goes about pointing at things in total cluelessness. Yay, for Dr. Watson!

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Ouch! The number times Dr. Watson got injured, I'm surprised he managed to make it to the final pages. However, the book did indicated that the good Doctor (or Major, if you prefer) have weeks to recover after a serious bout of injury, so, not quite so out of bounds.

What about Richard Burnip’s performance did you like?

I like Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes' voices. It was not particularly outstanding, but the little errors and inconsistencies with non-major characters can be easily overlooked as the plot pushes on.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I listened to it when I drive, so not really. But I did drive more slowly so I can listen to it longer.

Any additional comments?

If only there are more Dr. Watson books out there.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Colin on 09-21-16

Just Not Grabbing Me...

I don't know what my problem is with this title, but it's just not grabbing me at all. It's 1916 and the British Army are developing a new weapon that they hope will bring an end to the Great War. However a live test has killed 6 out of 7 operators, and left the 7th man a deranged mute. Call in Dr Watson to see what's up.

There, I've just summarised the first 12 chapters. (Yes, I did say 12 Chapters) To say the pace is slow would be an understatement. And I suppose it will always be a pitfall for any author writing about Dr Watson, but if he's mentioned Sherlock Holmes once he's done it a dozen times, and it's starting to get tiresome. Either this is a Dr Watson book or a Sherlock Holmes book, please decide.

The narration by Richard Burnip is very good, although he has also fallen into a trap when voicing Winston Churchill's lines, where he uses the famous 'Fight them on the beaches' voice of Churchill's later WWII years.

I dunno, I'm a third of the way in and I truly am not engaged by this title. There's no suspense at all, and none of the characters seem real in any way. I will try to persevere but I doubt I'll make it to the end...

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Lee on 01-15-18

Good follow up.

Watson on his second outing without Holmes and this book is every bit as good as the first. Okay it's a bit slow to start but it does pick up and move along nicely. Dead bodies, new inventions, zeppelins and spies all running alongside a budding romance what's not to like :) It looses a star as I worked out a major twist early on.

Richard Burnip narrates well and his Winston Churchill is recognisable. An excellent WW1 novel sprinkled with factual data. Well worth a credit. :)

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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