The Hound of Justice is a book that illustrates the long road to recovery, our feelings of being (un)deserving, and the fight against intolerance. It delivers all the action, mystery, and twists and turns I come to expect, with an even deeper look into Janet Watson.
Dr. Janet Watson and former covert agent Sara Holmes, introduced in the acclaimed A Study in Honor, continue their dangerous investigation into the new American Civil War with the help of fresh allies, advanced technology, and brilliant deduction in this superb reimagining of Sherlock Holmes.
It’s been two months since Dr. Janet Watson accepted an offer from Georgetown University Hospital. The training for her new high-tech arm is taking longer than expected, however, leaving her in limbo. Meanwhile, her brilliant friend and compatriot, Sara Holmes, has been placed on leave–punishment for going rogue during their previous adventure. Neither is taking their situation very well.
Then an extremist faction called the Brotherhood of Redemption launches an assassination attempt on the president. The attempt fails but causes mass destruction—fifty dead and hundreds more injured, and Holmes takes on the task of investigating the Brotherhood.
Holmes is making progress when she abruptly disappears. Watson receives a mysterious message from Holmes’s cousin Micha and learns that her friend has quit the service and is operating in the shadows, investigating clues that link the Brotherhood to Adler Industries.
She needs a surgeon, Micha tells Watson. She needs you.
Reunited once more, Dr. Watson, Holmes, and Micha embark on a mission through the deep South to clear Holmes’s name, thwart the Brotherhood’s next move, and most important, bring their nemesis to justice for the atrocities she’s committed in the New Civil War.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
What I consistently appreciate about the series, is how much O’Dell grounds The Hound of Justice in Watson’s experiences. In so many re-tellings I feel like Watson and the other side characters exist in the smoke, whereas O’Dell makes the heart of the story on how Watson continues to deal with her recovery – its detours and setbacks – and the politics of the time. While Holmes features in the book, she is more of the shadowy enigma, flitting in Watson’s life.
If you thought the politics in A Study of Honor was intense, then just wait and see in The Hound of Justice. Holmes and Watson are entangled in a political conflict that not only wants to overturn the democratic process, but seeks to promote hate and intolerance. But where The Hound of Justice improved, in my regard of Watson, was how this book deals with her recovery and her feelings of being (un)deserving and also needing help. It’s that feeling of counting down when people are going to come and collect the things we were given. Sure there’s more complexity to be had in Watson’s case because of A Study in Honor, but the theme explored remains the same.
For those who wanted more romantic tension in A Study in Honor, then you’ll be glad to find that while it isn’t in your face, there is the presence of more romantic tension. Overall, The Hound of Justice has my favorite brand of pacing – slow enough at the start to make us really appreciate and care about a character – only for it to build like a steamroller. It’s a book about justice and revenge. Decades of racism and intolerance. When we don’t see people as individuals. Questions of the price of justice, victory and revenge.