29th August 2019. 4 stars.
This is a whodunit based on a clever premise – the author himself becomes part of the investigation in a tribute to Sherlock Holmes. The author takes the Dr Watson role, narrating the story of consultant ex-cop, Hawthorne, who investigates the case.
Hawthorne is an enigmatic detective who misses nothing and is often several steps ahead of the people he’s interviewing and the narrator. The story moves along at a gentle, but intriguing pace with plenty of twists as suspects come and go. Horowitz desperately tries to find out something about Hawthorne’s character for the book he’s going to write about the investigation. This adds another layer of conflict to the proceedings.
The story’s well written, as you would expect, but I feel the author made too many references to himself and his catalogue of work, particularly Foyle’s War. These intrusions took me away from the story without telling me anything that contributed to it.
That aside, it’s an entertaining read.
A woman is strangled six hours after organising her own funeral.
Did she know she was going to die? Did she recognise her killer?
Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the case, and he’s found himself a sidekick – popular crime novelist Anthony Horowitz, who’s struck a deal with Hawthorne to turn his latest case into a true crime bestseller.
But the case is twistier and bloodier than Hawthorne had bargained for, and the unlikely duo of detective and writer find themselves neck deep in danger. When the written word is your only defence, you know you’re in trouble when the word is murder…