Minsk. Sherlock hears the tale from the beginning. It is a tale about a man who killed a woman, and a man who now needs Sherlock’s help if he is to escape the noose. Unfortunately for him a clear cut domestic does not appeal to the great detective; it will take a greater game to spark his interest.
It comes, at last, in the guise of a gas explosion. A package sent to Sherlock containing a pink phone he has seen before. A room, dank and vaguely familiar. A pair of shoes. A terrified voice at the end of a phone. And someone else, writing the script.
It is a familiar case that opens this six-part adaptation of the immensely popular television series. Sherlock’s superciliousness is captured perfectly and in fact all of the characters have been accurately translated from the moving screen to the still page. The adaptation as a whole is incredibly true to the BBC version, from the smile on the wallpaper to Mrs Hudson’s ticking off, and whilst this opening storyline is instantly known and memorable no doubt it will be greatly enjoyed by fans.
The fact that the story is already known, coupled with the extremely accurate rendition of its characters in this volume, does mean that in terms of shock and awe there is little to write home about – as a collector’s piece it delivers but outside of that it is simply an excellent adaptation. This is only part one of six though, so perhaps it is too soon to judge.