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REVIEW

"Entertainingly brilliant"

In 1878, a bored Arthur Conan Doyle is a second year medical student in Edinburgh when the brilliant but unbearable megalomaniac Dr. Joseph Bell becomes his mentor (or perhaps tormentor). Though no one likes Dr. Bell everyone agrees he is a genius. His pioneering work in forensic medicine has fascinated law enforcement and academia alike and has led to a success criminal investigation career.

Arthur actually surprises himself when he realizes he relishes solving mystery puzzles and even more shocking at least to him working with or perhaps better put, for the frustrating Dr. Bell. Arthur solves several mysteries and soon needs to protect Heather Grace, a victim of nightmares following the mass murder of her family. An obsessed Arthur believes that Heather remains in jeopardy from a killer who plans to finish the job unless he can protect the woman he cherishes.

This reviewer's first reaction to this novel was oy vey not another Holmes/Doyle novel. However, that quickly changed from the beginning to thoughts of how entertainingly brilliant is the one sitting read THE PATIENT'S EYES. Holmes fans and historical mystery readers will enjoy the plot that also enables the audience to solve a puzzler. However, the key to what makes this a wonderfully refreshing novel is Doyle, whom David Pirie depicts as a clever intermixing of the ingenious Holmes with the awed Watson.

Harriet Klausner

Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 9, 2002

SUMMARY

"It is to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes."-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to his mentor, renowned forensic scientist Dr. Joseph Bell As a young medical student, Arthur Conan Doyle, famously studied under the pioneering forensic detective Dr. Joseph Bell. Taking this as a starting point, author David Pirie has woven a compelling thriller which partners Bell (widely believed to be the model for Sherlock Holmes himself) and Doyle as innovators in criminal investigation, exploring the strange underworld of violence and sexual hypocrisy running below the surface of the Victorian era.

When the impoverished young Arthur Doyle opens his first medical practice, he is puzzled by the symptoms presented by Heather Grace, a sweet young woman whose parents have died tragically several years before. Heather has a strange eye complaint, but is also upset by visions of a phantom bicyclist who vanishes as soon as he is followed. This enigma, however, is soon overshadowed as Doyle finds himself embroiled in more threatening events-including the murder of a rich Spanish businessman-that call for the advice of the eminent Dr Bell. But despite coming to Doyle's aid, Dr Bell dismisses the murder of Senor Garcia as a rather unimportant diversion from the incident which Bell considers to have real criminal implications: the matter of the patient's eyes and the solitary cyclist.

David Pirie gained rave reviews for his screenplay depicting the "real" Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Joseph Bell, in the two part, Edgar-nominated TV series "Murder Rooms." Treading that same critically acclaimed ground, The Patient's Eyes is the first in a stand-alone cycle of novels written from Doyle's point of view that include a whole new perspective on the adventures of Bell and Doyle and the genesis of the best-known detective in all of mystery literature. Tense and dramatic The Patient's Eyes marks the debut of a brilliant new crime novelist.

 

The Patient's Eyes
by David Pirie

Minotaur Books
May 1, 2002
ISBN #0312290950
252 pages
Hardcover
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