Sherlock is dead, and Watson is old and alone. Only now can he write down one of the darkest and most disturbing cases the duo ever investigated. What starts with one seemingly banal case, develops sudden complications and becomes a much more complicated riddle, in the centre of which stands the mysterious House of Silk.
The Tropes of Silk:
- Asshole Victim: Mr. Carstairs. Although not directly a victim, he certainly deserved what happened to him.
- Clear My Name: Part of the plot.
- Detective Drama: Elementary.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even Moriarty draws the line at child prostitution, and gives Holmes and Watson information necessary to crack the case.
- Frame-Up: Holmes gets framed for a murder.
- Heroic BSoD: Holmes when he realizes he put Ross in harm's way.
- Kill It with Fire: At the end of the story, the orphanage is burned to the ground. Watson mentions that Holmes had been out alone that night, and came back smelling of smoke.
- Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: A gang of robbers ruins an art dealer's paintings → a child prostitution ring.
- Orphanage of Love: What it looks like. Actually an Orphanage of Fear.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Why Watson has hesitated to publish the story, because he felt it was too shocking for the public to handle without some years' remove from the actual events.
- Sherlock Scan: Used several times, not surprisingly. For example, in the very beginning of the book Holmes deduces that Watson has recently fired his servant, that his wife is not at home, and that he missed his train, all from a quick scan of his appearance.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Lestrade to Holmes about the way he uses his Irregulars.