Book, screen, stage, festival & event reviews.
After a gap of over ten years, the good news for fans of Mary Russell is the reappearance of O Jerusalem, the ‘missing’ Russell story that takes place towards the end of 1918, and referred to briefly during the events transcribed in the first Russell novel, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. O Jerusalem stands alone, and tells the tale Sherlock Holmes’s flight from England to Palestine along with his apprentice: the nineteen-year-old Mary Russell. They have been given a mission by Mycroft Holmes to solve a series of murders that may or may not be related to growing tensions in the region, a series of murders that has bewildered the local authorities. The mission takes them deep into the Palestinian country, through bazaars and squalor to precariously placed monasteries. Danger is ever-present and enemies have to be faced, with Jerusalem the setting for their meeting with their powerful and dangerous adversary. As events come to a climax in that ancient city, the young Russell is tested on many levels, and proves herself to be a match for their enemy… this time.
O Jerusalem tells a riveting story, but also paints a picture of an early 20th century Palestine rich with character and colour, a combination handled so well by Laurie R King and a technique developed so successfully over later novels in this series. The most recent, Pirate King, is now also available in paperback, with the 12th instalment, Garment of Shadows, due in the UK in October. All of these are published by Allison & Busby, who are to be given kudos for the wonderful series ‘look’, with some stunning cover art.
O Jerusalem was reissued June 25, 2012 in the UK.