The Fifth Heart

  • by Dan Simmons
  • Narrated by David Pittu
  • 23 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1893 Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams, wife of the esteemed historian Henry Adams--a member of the Adams family that has given the United States two presidents. Clover's suicide appears to be more than it at first seemed; the suspected foul play may involve matters of national importance.
Holmes is currently on his great hiatus--his three-year absence after Reichenbach Falls, during which time the people of London believe him to be deceased. Holmes has faked his own death because through his powers of ratiocination, the great detective has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character.
This leads to serious complications for James, for if his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power--possibly named Moriarty--that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows?


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Who Wrote 'the Fifth Heart?'

The Fifth Heart is both a rollicking historical mystery-adventure and a metaphysical meditation on each man's quest to give meaning to his life. Ultimately, it is yet another finely crafted Dan Simmons tale that will keep you up late at night and bleary eyed during the day, index finger itching for that moment it can finally hit the 'play' button.

Simmons' story, in which the unlikely duo of author Henry James and Sherlock Holmes team up to save the world from a plot that will plunge it into anarchy and war, is particularly well suited to this audible medium. While listening, I sometimes suspected Simmons intention was to write a great audiobook, then remembered that during the late Victorian era the story depicts, pot-boiler stories like this were meant to be read aloud of an evening.

This is an extraordinary production; even the narration is masterful. In other works, I have sometimes found David Pittu's narrative style too theatrical. The stylized and sometimes melodramatic The Fifth Heart showcases Pittu's great and myriad talents as a voice actor.

While other reviewers are not satisfied with the resolution of the many mysteries contained within The Fifth Heart, I am. Well, for the most part. The unresolved mystery is this; which melodramatic and self interjecting doctor wrote The Fifth Heart- Watson or Doyle?

If you're still with me, do yourself a favor: scroll up the page, click 'add to cart' and stick with it until they are aboard the ship.

You're welcome.
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- Bette "Say something about yourself!"


Convoluted dialogue and plot. There are too many digressions into historical narrative. Suitable for American history buffs but not for a mystery buff.
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- Susan Linsley

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-24-2015
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio