A coded warning of imminent danger sends Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson to the fortress-like country house of the reclusive Jack Douglas. When they arrive too late to prevent a tragic death, the great detective and his chronicler must follow a series of bewildering clues to find a murderer who has vanished into thin air. Only then will they solve the mystery of the dead man's desperate plea: 'Am I never going to get out of the valley of fear?'
What is the connection between a corpse with a missing face and a ruthless secret society which once terrorised a desolate region of the United States? With the aid of a local guidebook, a missing dumb-bell, and Dr Watson's umbrella, Holmes unravels a tangled web which stretches over fifteen years and two continents; and in the centre of that web lurks the sinister presence of the most brilliant criminal mind in all England: Professor James Moriarty.
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