Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The 6 Messiahs

I started Mark Frost's The 6 Messiahs on Friday and I'm making my way through the book much too quickly to be honest with you. The 6 Messiahs is a sequel to Frost's The List of Seven and both follow Arthur Conan Doyle as he takes part in grand adventure mysteries with Jack Sparks, the archetype for Sherlock Holmes.

In The 6 Messiahs, Doyle is in America on a book tour, getting mobbed by the hungry American readers. Doyle has just killed off Holmes and the American reading public wants more Holmes stories. The reason Doyle killed off Holmes is because Sparks had supposedly met his fate the same way 10 years earlier. But in America, much to Doyle's astonishment, Sparks appears again. Sparks is searching for the sacred missing holy books that are being stolen from around the globe. And it's up to Sparks, Doyle and Doyle's brother, to save the texts before they are put to evil use.

Sparks is a great character, but Doyle is the real star in the Frost novels. In this book, Doyle is a more mature, stronger, self assured man than in the first book. And though he has developed a greater sense of deductive reasoning and a taste for adventure, his natural hesitations in tight situations play nicely against Sparks's absolute actions.

Frost does a nice job making this series (though he only wrote two books) a Sherlock Holmes story on crack, without going overboard. In fact, though I hate to make the correlations, Frosts books bare more of a resemblence to the upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie, than to Doyle's stories. The books are grittier and more adventuresome, but Doyle (as Watson) keeps the reader interested and grounded, trying to reign in Sparks from time to time. Luckily for us, he's not always able to do so.

Now reading:
The 6 Messiahs by Mark Frost

On deck:
Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child


Iliana said...

Can you believe I've never read any Sherlock Holmes stories? I mean, here I consider myself such a mystery nut! Anyway this book sounds interesting. I wonder if I'd get as much out of it though not "knowing" the Holmes stories.

Mike B. said...

Illiana, I haven't read too many Holmes stories and you certainly don't have to read them to enjoy Frost's books. I recommend stopping by the library to pick up The List of Seven.