The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third novel by Arthur Conan Doyle to feature Sherlock Holmes.
Quick Review (read on for full review)
Dramatic and atmospheric, The Hound of the Baskervilles has everything an entertaining and captivating story needs: a legend, a mysterious death and a very eerie setting. Fantastic reading! 5 / 5
Summary (from back of book)
It was a brave man who would cross the wild Devon moorlands in darkness.
For the ancient legend of the hound of the Baskervilles had persisted in family history for generations. Indeed it was Sir Charles’s mysterious death in the grounds of Baskerville Hall that brought Sherlock Holmes to the scene of one of his most famous and intriguing cases.
‘He was running, Watson – running desperately, running for his life, running until he burst his heart and fell dead upon his face…’ What had it been, looming through the darkness, that could have inspired such terror? A spectral hound loosed from hell; or a creature of infinite patience and cunning, with a smiling face and a murderous heart…
‘It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull.’
(From The Hound of The Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, page 12)
I really enjoyed The Hound of The Baskervilles, much more so than the previous one, even though I did like The Sign of Four too. Whereas The Sign of Four was melodramatic and came across as a little outlandish in places, The Hound of The Baskervilles was dramatic and atmospheric, and completely captivating.
Our first meeting with Dr James Mortimer is strange to say the least, as during that initial conversation he tells Holmes, “I confess that I covet your skull.”. With that revelation out of the way, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson learn what has brought their guest to them that morning…a tale of a curse that has already claimed a victim.
The legend of the hound of the Baskervilles sets up this mystery very nicely. And, as much as I enjoy superstitions and the paranormal, the ending was very good, very sound, and very clever.
The descriptions of the moor and tor are certainly evocative and help create the eeriness required to make the legend ring with the sound of authenticity, and even possibility. Will you guess the culprit before it is revealed? Probably. I did. However, this is a classic, and is perhaps the most famous and well-known of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and as such, should not be missed.