Another book down from my 2018 NetGalley backlist, only another nine to go!
Title: The Sentence Is Death by Anthony Horowitz
Date Published: 1st November 2018
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
“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 realises that these secrets must be exposed – even at the risk of death…
I received a copy of The Sentence Is Death from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
So I read the first in this series The Word Is Murder and was intrigued enough to get the second The Sentence Is Death over on NetGalley, but it’s taken me three years to actually get around to reading it (oops).
If you don’t know this series, the author, Anthony Horowitz himself, plays Watson to his fictional detective Daniel Hawthorne, chronicling their adventures as they try to solve murders. The murder in question for this novel is successful divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, who was bludgeoned to death with an expensive bottle of wine.
I remember when I read the first book I was a little confused about the author putting himself in the book, at the time I’d never really come across this but now I’ve seen it done a few times this sort of thing no longer bothers me.
On the surface the story is a bit like a cozy mystery, as the murder is more like a puzzle and there’s not too much violence, but there is a fair bit of swearing with a smattering of unlikeable characters to give it a more gritty feel.
There were parts of the novel I really enjoyed, like the glimpse into the life of a TV writer as it shows some parts of Anthony Horowitz working on his show Foyle’s War. Also, the introduction of copper DI Cara Grunshaw, who made Hawthorne seem not as bad in comparison and added an extra dimension to the story.
Unfortunately, while the author tried to throw a few twists in there, I figured out whodunnit well before the end. I was also hoping that Hawthorne would change his ways a bit, I still found him unlikeable most of the time.
Overall, The Sentence Is Death is a solid mystery with a cast of very memorable, (not always in a good way), characters.
About the author:
Anthony Horowitz, OBE is ranked alongside Enid Blyton and Mark A. Cooper as “The most original and best spy-kids authors of the century.” (New York Times). Anthony has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he is also the writer and creator of award winning detective series Foyle’s War, and more recently event drama Collision, among his other television works he has written episodes for Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. Anthony became patron to East Anglia Children’s Hospices in 2009.
On 19 January 2011, the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle announced that Horowitz was to be the writer of a new Sherlock Holmes novel, the first such effort to receive an official endorsement from them and to be entitled the House of Silk.