|Reviews for After the Fall|
| elbafo chapter 3 . 8/20
Ah, another thing I'm relieved to find in your story—a change in the weather! The show almost always ignores the changing seasons (except when it's a bit nippy out, thanks Mrs H!) and Sherlock is doomed to forever wearing his coat, even in summer!
I'm glad John is receiving visitors. He appears slightly less of a pitiable figure as a result. It remains tragic that nobody can talk to anybody else about Sherlock Holmes, though. Well, Molly and Mycroft sort of can, but they're not exactly close confidantes. Early days yet.
Good pickup with Lestrade's previous cases being investigated and the comment about John not getting arrested for his assault on the Chief Super. The problem with the show is that they seem to plough on, season after season, with no consequences for some really serious shit that had gone down the previous season. Although, perhaps that's what series four is all about?
I like these extra bits you add around Lestrade: wife's name, a child, in the first chapter, and here, "not a morning person." He's such a well-loved character from the show, but they don't have the capacity to provide back stories and such. I'm looking forward to reading all you have to offer up about our favourite DI.
But, ah, a case we can get stuck into. Very nicely detailed crime scene with intriguing elements. Have you based it on a real case you've read about? The conversation between Lestrade and both Miles and Anderson sounded genuine for the police procedural stuff. Had a bit of a chuckle with Miles speaking "cheerfully" about the additional injuries on the victim's back. A bit not good with Lestrade intermittently thinking about Sherlock. Well, why wouldn't he, since this is his first homicide after the Fall. It's still so sad, really. I liked the reflection on the routine he'd once shared with John, post-cases, over a pint. And now he has Anderson, and "Sherlock Holmes was dead." A heart-aching and powerful statement to end Lestrade's section there, summing up his thoughts and the feelings he had throughout the morning's session.
Is the case of the body in Hyde Park something that John knows about since this chapter is from his perspective and you've used it as a marker of the passage of time at the beginning of his section? Or is it not strictly his POV? (I know I'm not the one to talk about POVs, but you're far more consistent with them than I have been).
As soon as I read the name "Harry Watson" I eagerly anticipated what personality you would give her. By the end of it, I had in mind a fully-formed character. Well done on creating a three dimensional character based on only a couple of passing references in canon. She doesn't sound like someone who's backwards in coming forwards. And she knows Mycroft? Or of Mycroft? Have they ever met? I'd love to be a fly on the wall during that encounter!
I like the rules Harry has imposed on John. Although, he probably thought he'd only just endured Molly's concern and needed a bit of a break before contacting his sister. If he just sat on his bed doing nothing, the passage of time must of flown by him, unnoticed. But, like Harry, are we the reader meant to infer anything by John and Molly sharing an outing? So they've progressed from her faithful visits (as of two weeks ago) and bringing groceries to now venturing outside together. Sounds promising! Although, a walk may have been suggested by one or the other as an antidote to the stifling confines of the bedsit. I won't get too excited yet.
John and Harry's banter had all the hallmarks of a close sibling relationship; I really enjoyed reading it. I even found myself concerned for Harry's drinking problem. She's sounding so hopeful, but there's the underlying tone that she's been down this road many times before.
I loved the use of "barrelling" to describe Harry's ageing process.
Is John still in the same place, ie. the bedsit? I'm confused as to why you state, "the flat had officially been in ridiculous territory..." This current flat? Or the one he shared with Sherlock? Or some other one? —a flat being vastly different to a bedsit.
I'm wondering if Harry wants John to live with her for her own sake as well as John's. It seemed she was only half-joking with the "messed up individuals together" comment. I look forward to future chapters featuring sibling interaction, and also Harry interacting with the other characters in the show.
A lovely chapter showing John's slow climb out of his emotional quagmire, and a great introduction to an intriguing case!
| elbafo chapter 2 . 8/4
I loved this whole first section. John Watson just bristles with anger. At first I thought it was Sherlock who was addressing Mycroft until your next paragraph put the outburst into context. The Diogenes Club is such an antiquated establishment and its pompous traditions are laughable. Insert a furious ex-army captain interacting with stroke-impending 'old Douglas' and you have a very comedic scene.
I liked the visuals you describe here: John threatening Douglas without making eye contact, and Mycroft carefully folding up his newspaper AND taking a sip of tea before rising. Both men's composure (or lack thereof!) and attitude just drips off the page here without you needing to tell us.
John's succinct, "Shut up" reminds me of the way he spoke to Sherlock in HLV after the latter's escape from hospital and they argue in 221B ("Shut up. And stay shut up.") The barely contained fury that I imagine exudes from every pore made it seem strange that John would then sit down in an armchair. I envisaged that he would still be standing, muscles too tense to relax into a seat, over the next exchange of dialogue. But that's the only bit I found odd.
This scene was a great way to reveal Mycroft's efforts to help John, thus fulfilling Molly's request earlier. It's a pity the reveal only serves to infuriate John further. It's heart-wrenching to hear him wanting to cut off the conversation when Mycroft brings up Sherlock. He is so broken.
Nice cutting away to the next scene where Lestrade is dealing with the fallout. This story edit is reminiscent of John's arrest after decking the Chief Superintendant in TRF. That first paragraph describes it all quite humouressly, allowing us to easily piece together what went down. I chuckled at the "slumberous old gentlemen [who were] more scandalised than they had been since 1972"—a nice nod there to Mycroft's comment in TRF not wanting "a repeat of 1972" in the confines of the club.
I found "a bloodied tartan handkerchief" a laughable visual. Why tartan? In England? Used by an Englishman :) Although ACD was Scottish, so I assume the Holmeses have a Scottish heritage. I don't know why I find that funny. Ignore me. I find anything in tartan that's not a kilt hilarious. We have a towel that looks like a kilt. We bought it in Scotland :D ... Although, wiping his nose on tartan may be a way to thumb his nose at the Scots. Not very diplomatic, Mycroft.
I enjoyed reading this from Lestrade's POV. You give him such funny observations about people—in the last chapter, it was his thoughts on Molly, and in this one, his animosity showing through regarding Mycroft in all his pomp and ceremony.
I'm glad he has this private chat with John in John's bedsit. Again, excellent descriptions of the residence with Lestrade noticing the ambient sounds, leading him to realise that John doesn't have any entertainment. John's petulant attitude continues to permeate the scene. I hope some of what Lestrade said sinks in.
But, ah, Sherlock, finally!
I always enjoy a well-written exchange between the Holmes brothers, as yours clearly is. I love that Sherlock's way of greeting is via deduction. The names of Sherlock's trivial 'cases' are laughable. Better than him being bored, I suppose!
"Your brotherly compassion overwhelms me." —delivered by the man who can only close his eyes and bow his head when he's /really/ concerned for Sherlock.
Only the Holmes brothers could concoct such an intellectually superior game. Was Mycroft correct, I wonder?
This last section, I assume is from Sherlock's POV, so should you have written, "Jean-Baptiste Bedárd," Mycroft's spoken words, if Sherlock didn't hear it? You could possibly leave out that entire line, going from Sherlock plopping himself into his chair, then several seconds elapsing before realising Mycroft had said something. Mycroft repeats the name anyway.
I love love love the idea that Mycroft's umbrella is some sort of Q-designed secret weapon. Of course! That makes so much sense!
It was very clever of Sherlock to realise that John would've tried to give the money back, symbolic in his own way, via his gravestone. Loved the visual of Sherlock scaling the fence like a cat. Yes, he's very cat-like. He only rubs up against people when he wants something from them :D.
But that last line with the note: straight to the heart! Prickly tears to my eyes! Well done!
Another fantastic chapter, with energised dialogue, comical action (implied violence!), emotions bubbling to the surface, and cleverness all around. Cheers!
| elbafo chapter 1 . 8/1
-Apologies for the delay. I've had a horrid mid-winter flu for the last couple of days!-
I loved that this was a Molly-centric chapter, but you were able to show us how various characters, as well as herself, were coping in the early days after Sherlock's 'fall'—firstly from Lestrade's POV, then John and Mycroft, the last two through Molly's eyes.
Fantastic continuation straight up from your story's title, "After the Fall," with the 'after' theme, into what happened next—after the: death, funeral, inquest and suspension. You don't keep us guessing for long, with who had been suspended, having the reader guess what may have occurred on Lestrade's part to have resulted in his suspension.
I love real life details; that you've given Lestrade a middle name, a child and named his wife, appeals to me.
Because you'd already told me your pairing, I had a very 'Aha!' moment when I read that Molly's name is actually Mary. A masterstroke! A very original way of bringing a non-canon character into ACD canon using a very popular TV OC. That's just brilliant!
The sentence, "She was waiting for him..." is followed by "up from Barts" after a semi-colon. I've always understood that semi-colons joined two related independent clauses (correct me if I'm wrong), but your second ("up from Barts on her lunch break") is a sentence fragment, not an independent clause. I know it's fine to use fragments in narrative writing, but a semi-colon seems to formalise the text at that point, so I expected to read another sentence. On looking back, I see you've also written "It was after the death; after the funeral," which could probably be separated by an em-dash or a comma.
Your description of Molly as seen through Lestrade's eyes is both humorous and original, from her tornado-battered hair to her pathetic sandwich. I loved it! And you've caught the cadence of Lestrade's speech perfectly, through the subtle placement of punctuation to indicate those tiny pauses, separating "Molly" from "What can I do for you?" and later, "Molly... Listen..." as well as the use of his customary, "Right."
I feel for the guy, being placed in such an awkward position, but it's nothing compared to what Molly would be feeling with the information she has about Sherlock's suicide pantomime.
Which leads me to your rendition of Molly: perfectly done with her mismatched knits, stammering out of short phrases, then gushing after gaining confidence. I like this Molly; she is so obviously out of her comfort zone, but she is committed to keeping her promise to Sherlock to look out for John.
I enjoyed her observations of John's bedsit: the damp carpet, the moldy shower curtain—I know such places intimately! And the /awkwardness/ of the whole scene was skillfully written, from that pause when John initially greeted Molly ("...Molly") to his "Fine. Just fine." The one chair, the one cup of tea, and the smile that didn't quite make it, all added to the feeling of being uninvited.
Her observations about John seem to echo those of his accommodation: neat and tidy on the outside, but no amount of scrubbing would remove the rot on the inside. And four decades (a bedsit from the seventies): is it a coincidence that his residence is as old as he is? Maybe I'm reading too much into this comparison, LOL!
Molly has more courage than most people give her credit for. To show up at the most stuffy of Gentleman's Clubs takes a lot of guts! I love the subtle ways you show that Mycroft is getting uncomfortable with the subject matter: examining his umbrella, then his shirt sleeve. He does have these micro-gestures that tell volumes about what he's thinking. Molly's careful observations about Mycroft calling her 'Miss Hooper' and how he looks at her as if he can read her, reflect as much about her lack of self-confidence as they do about Myke living in a world full of goldfish.
I always note if authors use chapter titles or not. I love chapter titles, especially if more than one meaning can be gleaned from them aside from the obvious. Is this what you've done here with 'Security Chain?' The one on John's door, clearly, but also the chain of people keeping Sherlock's secret?
This was a fantastic first chapter, full of realistic, in-character dialogue and awkward interactions and gestures showing us how those close to Sherlock were coping through the common thread of Molly interacting with them. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your take on this world post-Reichenbach.
| Malebron chapter 8 . 6/25
“This one had no eyes. They found it in Highgate Cemetery.” Such a good hook. Such. A. good. Hook. How could you not read on after that?
I enjoyed the switch from a gentle, domestic ‘curtain’ story to this gritty murder mystery. I really like the variation in pace; you make it work very well. The intriguing half-stories about John’s traumatic experiences in Afghanistan were neatly done too.
I’m delighted at the way Molly so admires John in her diffident way. No let’s be clear, she is in love with him isn’t she? Even if she hasn’t quite admitted it to herself. Lovely
A few observations:
And now half the Met [were] traipsing all over
“… what was going on on the home front.” I know this is grammatically correct, but I might say, ‘what was happening …’ so as to avoid that repetition.
“… so I want you to comb it over.” Now this sound a bit like combing hair. Maybe “… go over it with a fine-tooth comb.”
I might hyphenate “get together”
| Otaku and Proud chapter 1 . 6/23
I always love to see Molly with some backbone! Not just anyone could confront Mycroft like that and I'm glad she did.
| Malebron chapter 7 . 5/17
Such an enjoyable chapter! Very domestic and warm. I love John and Molly together - I'm glad I don't have any canon knowledge to interfere with it.
Nitpicking concrit: I would question the choice of the word 'gravesite' because I have never heard that used outside crime dramas or archaeology. I guess you are avoiding too much repetition but it feels a bit unnatural.
It's very pedantic but I noticed the repetition of 'official' here: "John quickly became the official resident of Molly's pink-and-silver wallpapered spare room.
"I've got to tell you," Harry said over the phone on the night he moved in officially" - I think you could just get rid of that 'officially'.
I'm not sure why Molly might have expected John to fulfil the traditional masculine duties. My sense of Molly's character is such that I don't think she would have expected that at all!
Here: "Molly never mentioned the incident ever again" - I think 'ever' is redundant there.
This bit here: "Does your sister carry on like this?"
"Neither of mine do." John had been referring to the sister in Sidcup but had forgotten all about the one in Cornwall. "But my mother does... she's been more fun than ever since the divorce." - I could work it out, but it's not entirely clear who is saying what there.
| Malebron chapter 6 . 5/10
Mmm. Molly and John's relationship has moved to a new level now, though perhaps they don't quite know it yet. Delicious :)
| Malebron chapter 5 . 5/5
I loved that John just noticed that Molly 'looked quite nice' after all her efforts on his behalf - a lovely funny understatement. Molly's self-consciousness and John's sensitivity to it is very sweet. I'm intrigued by what Molly's father might have seen. Is that something you explore in another story?
Molly backing away when Sherlock sniffed her up and down made me laugh out loud :D
| Malebron chapter 4 . 4/28
You have seamlessly worked some background in here – very neatly done. I love how you have written the touchingly awkward interactions between John and Molly, it is absolutely delightful!
Concrit – in the first paragraph there seem to be a lot of ‘flats’. Here: ‘John refused to invite Mrs Hudson to the flat’ – this reads as if it is his old flat, but I think it is his new one; it is slightly unclear.
| Malebron chapter 3 . 4/22
The pacing is flawless. The beginning of chapter three is just about the perfect place to introduce this intriguing new plot.
Just a couple of minor points here; you misspelt superintendEnt.
The sentence where 'John couldn't be burdened' - this is Lestrade's view I think. So it might be better to say Lestrade didn't want to burden him? or thought John was already burdened enough?
Where you say Lestrade was lucky not to be on the unemployment line - even though the dole hasn't been called the dole for years, I think someone of Lestrade's age would still at least mentally refer to it as the 'dole queue'.
| Malebron chapter 2 . 4/22
The first part of the chapter is perfect. It was funny and bitter at the same time.
I did find the first paragraph of the second part a bit convoluted - I think I'd say Mondays *when* not Mondays *Where*, given that Monday isn't a geographical location. (did something specific happen in 1972? you could reference a specific event here)
The end of the chapter genuinely moved me too.
| Malebron chapter 1 . 4/18
I was going to come to this later on, but after a few paragraphs I was already hooked :) Everything is spot on, engaging characters, natural dialogue, a perfect balance of description and action. There's nothing very much I can offer in the way of concrit. I'm not familiar with the word 'slammed' in this context - and the phrase "We're kind of slammed just now" - I take it he means very busy? I don't even know really what Lestrade's voice is like, but I'm not sure it's like this?
Then near the end when Molly is with Mycroft, I can't quite get a handle on the POV you are using. I don't think it's quite omniscient, and seems to be mainly from Molly's POV, so the sentence that begins "Mycroft was making a noble effort . . . " feels like a bit of head-hopping.
But those are minor observations. I can't remember the last time I was so engaged by a piece of fanfiction. Lovely work.
| MysticWaterWolf chapter 4 . 4/1
Another wonderful chapter and a delightful read.
Yes, I can well imagine Mrs. Hudson forcefully dragging John back to her flat and we all love her for her kind nature. It's no wonder John hides his current living conditions from her, saying no to Mrs Hudson would be like kicking a well meaning puppy...
I like how you got Henry into this chapter and his reaction to the news is a classic response. Really, there is a lot of people in this story and you are managing them all quite well.
Soooo Molly and John going out to a party together like a couple but not actually as a couple. If that doesn't start planting ideas in their heads about how it would be nice to actually go out as an actual couple I don't know what will. Nice work. I shall be interested in seeing how that develops.
Ah sibling love... I just adore how these two act with each other. Might as well give up John, if Harry and Mrs. Hudson are going to tag team like that, there is no hope for any argument to work. That must have been one epic shopping trip and might have been worthy enough to have it's own one shot one day... Just a thought.
It was great and I look forward to reading more.
| Belen09 chapter 6 . 3/21
Actually repeating something over and over again is a recognized technique taught to among others - emergency operators . . .
| MysticWaterWolf chapter 3 . 2/24
The opening to this chapter was well done and efficiently brought us up to date with the details surrounding some of our favorite people.
The switch over to the crime scene was also well thought out. You managed to give us enough detail to get a clear picture of the deceased without going over the top. It definitely sounds like the kind of crime scene where you really wish Sherlock could be called in to investigate.
One cannot help but feel a little bit for Anderson, of all the crime scenes he could be called on, it had to be this one. The conversation between Lestrade and Anderson was well done without being overdone or over-dramatized.
“we need something sane to put in the report” I'm still snickering over that one, it was a good line. Although, I wish them luck with that.
I loved the way John and Harry acted towards one another. It was very much how you'd expect siblings that cared for one another but acted differently to act. Yes, they probably would kill each other if they moved in together but, it would be very entertaining right up to that point.
“we could be thoroughly messed up individuals together” Another good one as was Harry's last words to John in this chapter, they made me laugh.
Overall, it was a good chapter and I enjoyed reading it. Two weeks was maybe a bit of a time skip with an active murder investigation going on but, that really depends on how your next chapter plays out.