The Sentence Is Death by Anthony HorowitzThe Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz
Narrator: Rory Kinnear
Series: Hawthorne and Horowitz #2
Published by HarperAudio on May 28, 2019
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Length: 8 hrs 36 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Death, deception, and a detective with quite a lot to hide stalk the pages of Anthony Horowitz’s brilliant murder mystery, the second in the bestselling series starring Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne.

“You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late . . . “

These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine—a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise.

Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed?

Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business.

But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realizes that these secrets must be exposed—even at the risk of death . . .

Hawthorne has been called in by the police again to help solve a murder, and of course, he convinces Horowitz to join him. After all, Horowitz needs to write two more stories featuring Hawthorne. The Sentence Is Death is the second in the series and honestly, I liked the whole author as a character thing more enjoyable this time around. The first time around I found it almost clever for clever’s sake, but in this one it was amusing, seeing how people reacted to him, or not, knowing he was an author.

I don’t really have much to say about this one. It’s a good traditional mystery, kind of a take on Sherlock and Watson, with Hawthorne as Sherlock, putting together the clues. He’s not entirely likable, definitely not politically correct, and a bit abrasive. He keeps his theories to himself right up until the end. And Horowitz is our bumbling Watson, never getting the clues quite right, asking the wrong questions, almost getting himself killed (again).

Overall, it was enjoyable. Horowitz as a character makes it stand out and he portrays himself as pretty much an average guy, if an average guy wrote books, had police harassing him, and knew the inner workings of a television show. It’s good that Horowitz is so relatable, since I don’t think Hawthorne is really an interesting enough character to base a detective series on.

The book is written in the first person from Horowitz’ point of view. Listening to the audio felt like listening to him tell the story of what happened. Of course, now I think Anthony Horowitz sounds like Rory Kinear.

This counts as 3 pts in the COYER Treasure Hunt  (a book with no living thing on the cover).

About Anthony Horowitz

Anthony John Horowitz, CBE (born 5 April 1955) is an English novelist and screenwriter specializing in mystery and suspense.

His works for children and young adult readers include The Diamond Brothers series, the Alex Rider series, and The Power of Five series (known in the U.S. as The Gatekeepers). His work for adults includes the play Mindgame (2001); two Sherlock Holmes novels, The House of Silk (2011) and Moriarty (2014); two novels featuring his own detective Atticus Pünd, Magpie Murders (2016) and Moonflower Murders (2020); and four novels featuring a fictionalized version of himself as a companion and chronicler to private investigator Daniel Hawthorne, The Word Is Murder (2017), The Sentence Is Death (2018), A Line to Kill (2021), and The Twist of a Knife (2022). The Estate of James Bond creator Ian Fleming also chose Horowitz to write Bond novels utilizing unpublished material by Fleming, starting with Trigger Mortis in 2015, followed by Forever and a Day in 2018, and a third and final novel With a Mind to Kill in May 2022.

He has also written for television, contributing scripts to ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Midsomer Murders. He was the creator and writer of the ITV series Foyle’s War, Collision and Injustice and the BBC series New Blood.


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