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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?
©2015 Dan Simmons (P)2015 Hachette Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Susan on 05-19-15

Differing Expectations

Any additional comments?

It always amazes me when I read the reviews of books I am thinking of buying at audible.com. It makes it very hard to decide whether to buy it or not. The same book receives 5 stars outstanding from one listener and a 2 star very poor from another. The author of The Fifth Heart took on a daunting task with a book requiring credible dialogue amongst a host of historical and fictional characters. I applaud Dan Simmons' attempt, but it would take a scholar of outstanding achievement and understanding of the historical characters as well as a master story teller of Sir Conan Doyle's caliber to get the chemistry on this plot right. Taking into account the difficulty of the endeavour I listened to the whole book despite reservations. For examples of authors who get the fictional/historical character dialogue right check out Max Allan Collins' True Crime series and Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon or Baroque Cycle. The premise of The Fifth Heart is fun and promising so go ahead and enjoy (with reservations.)

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By IceDancingKaren on 06-01-15

An Abundance of Patience

The concept for this novel is brilliant. The writing is magnificent. The story is engaging, but . . . readers need to settle in and be prepared for details, details, details. If you like Dickens, you might enjoy The Fifth Heart. It is rich in atmosphere and characters but it is a bit of a slog to get through. If you are prepared for that, it is an intriguing novel, worth the commitment to it. Just know what you are getting in to first.

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20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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