Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: The Hound of the Baskervilles

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES: A mystery with loose threads

One of the cases that prove Sherlock Holmes’s incredible detective skills is The Hound of the Baskervilles, a supposedly supernatural case about a creature that hunts the Baskerville family line. The case revolves around the death of Sir Charles Baskerville, who the client considers to be annihilated by the spectral hound. Since Sherlock Holmes is a practical thinker, he believes that the case is not supernatural at all, so, together with Dr. Watson, he tries to dig deep into the mystery, in search for evidence that the supernatural hound is but the mere workings of something more logical.

The complexity of this case is very clear even from the early chapters, as the detective and his sidekick gain and lose leads. The most interesting part of this is the idea that not all threads lead to the core of the mystery. Most of them are just there to create various possibilities for the subject at hand. It is such a thrill to see how the protagonists analyze whether a thread is legitimate or just there to create confusion. Add the fact that even legitimate threads are lost because of the lack of information and details, and the readers will find themselves in a case that is truly problematic.

The story becomes more interesting further into the book, as more characters are introduced and the background of the Baskerville family is even more expanded. These factors make the case more complicated, but, contradictorily, create a solid lead, for traces of foul play from not an apparition start to surface. However, this does not make the case easier at all. If anything, it makes the case even more difficult, for they would be dealing with not a mindless ghost, but a cunning criminal.

Overall, the mystery that drives the story is very effective. Its framework is complicated enough to create various possibilities that would leave the readers in conjecture. I can’t help but be amazed by the thought that such a complicated mystery can be conceived, and what makes it more amazing is the fact that there is a detective who can solve it using deductive skills that are beyond ordinary.

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