The Author: Patrick Mercer
Born in 1956, Patrick Mercer read History at Oxford University before joining the Army. He commanded his battalion in Bosnia and Canada. Previously receiving a gallantry commendation, he was awarded the OBE in 1997. In 1999, Patrick Mercer accepted a post as the Defence Reporter for the Today Programme. In the 2001 election, he won the Tory seat in Newark. A respected historian, he has already published a non-fiction account of the Inkerman battle during the Crimean War.
Doctor Watsons War
Afghanistan. 1880. A bloodied but unbowed young medic must fight in a war that will test both his courage and conscience to its very limits. Despite his own wound, despite the howling tribesman hounding his every step back to the walls of Kandahar, he will not forsake the injured soldiers and victims of battle who he has sworn to treat and protect. The most difficult to save of all though is Alisha Kahn, the beautiful and enigmatic fighting queen -shot down as she led the Afghans against the British and brought to the dressing station by Private ‘Posh’ Williams, the gentleman ranker. Her warrior brothers want to save her, whilst the retreating troops can see no reason why she should live. The terror and nobility of the events fought across blood-soaked desert sands – culminating in the Battle of Maiwand – will scar and inspire Doctor John H. Watson forever. In this brilliant novella, Patrick Mercer tells the story of Sherlock Holmes’s great friend Watson’s formative years in the Army. It is a must-read for fans of Holmes, and for anyone who enjoys historical military fiction.
My only gripe about this story is that its too short, This so easily could have been a fantastic full length novel. For so long i have thought that the Holmes story centres too much on Holmes. While Watson clearly has a colourful and full history.
I thought that maybe Patrick Mercer may have compounded the short length of the story by also showing Watson as having a short experience in the forces. There could have been a rich and action packed series, at the least a series of short stories. I hope that Patrick Mercer has something up his sleeve for more of these that I’m missing.
This story shows the early days of Holmes and Watson and how Watson came to be the man he is and why he is living with Holmes. As is usual for Mercers books the history is impeccable, but its the experience as a soldier that he brings to the writing that always astounds me, so honest and so real that as a reader you get to experience all the action and drama on a personal level. With this story its also not just Watson who shines, its his fantastic sidekick Private Bowler, funny, real and for me the perfect sidekick, if Patrick Mercer cannot do more stories on Watson then do them on Bowler. If you have not read any of Patrick Mercers other books then i highly recommended them all.
Something else i found out is that Patrick Mercer is the same Patrick Mercer MP from my home town (quite glad i voted for him now).
So please sir more of these short stories or a full book.
Other Fiction Books
Anthony Morgan Trilogy