My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I first read THE SIX MESSIAHS, I was more than a bit disappointed with it. I wanted a sequel to the excellent LIST OF SEVEN. I wanted Jack Sparks and Conan Doyle, hunting down the bad guy, with all the appropriate Sherlockian nods and winks that would entail. What we get instead is a dizzying host of characters, hardly anything of Jack Sparks, and not much at all of Doyle.
If you’re looking for Sherlock in this one, you’re really looking in the wrong place. THE SIX MESSIAHS is a different beast entirely. It’s more about suffering, and redemption, and the power of cults than anything else.
On this second reading I got the point a lot quicker than on the first, and I raced through it. Frost is great at pacing, has an eye for what makes a character memorable, and an inventive imagination that keeps the whole thing careering along.
There’s a bit too much head-hopping around the point of view characters for my liking, and even a couple of places where it gets confusing trying to figure out which head we’re supposed to be in at the time. And in the rush to the finish, a couple of characters get sidelined and don’t really get to finish their part of the story.
But that’s just quibbling. All in all, it’s a fine romp. And despite what I said earlier, there is indeed a glimpse of Sherlock, right at the end, when the right thing is done and most of the threads are tied up.
I keep hoping for another sequel from Frost to see what Doyle gets up to next, but the new Twin Peaks will do just fine in the meantime.