My first encounter with Anthony Horowitz was a random purchase from an audible deal: Magpie Murders. Honestly, I had no idea- just liked the colour and design of the cover and the blurb. Having never heard of Horowitz before, I listened it without any prejudice and absolutely LOVED it. What a find! Then came The Word is Murder and I think I enjoyed it even more than MM. Word is Murder is the book before Sentence is Death that introduces Horowitz himself and his out of bounds partner Daniel Hawthorne.
Horowitz’s books are a bit like cosy mysteries but it wouldn’t be fair on those excellent specimen of crime fiction to be stuck in cosy mystery genre. He knows how to plot entertainingly without compromising the quality. One thing common in his books is the tone of sarcasm. You can find yourself grinning from time to time during the read. Horowitz scoffs at the self-acclaimed gods/goddesses of literary fiction, invents police officers with less intelligence than police dogs, puts his own “fail” moments with an inevitably funny tone of honesty in this novel. I loved how he mocks everything including himself, the police force, the BBC, literary world, anything you can imagine.
His partner Hawthorne is borderline homophobic, grumpy, a bitter sweet person revealing almost nothing personal. That air of mystery around his past/present affairs and the unexpected, shocking statements coming out of his mouth makes him an incredibly attractive character to read. Ernie and Bert effect between Hawthorne and Horowitz is also ridiculously good.
Sentence is Death starts with the murder of a divorce lawyer and Horowitz sets to write a second book of this case alongside working with Hawthorne. Let’s take a moment to mention how Horowitz’s literary agent borderline scolds him saying no one will be interested in a dead divorce lawyer- but she is wrong. The victim had been threatened by a well-known, award winning and fiercely literary writer and his husband seems to be hiding things… Of course, there are also issues from the past that bubbles up in surface of the case. Who visited the victim before he died, and why is there a number on the crime scene? You will find out the answers in the end, but I must say I am really proud with myself to successfully GUESS the identity of killer in this one. Obviously I was swapping my options during the read but at one point I kind of decided and I was RIGHT! hooray 🙂
This was such a fun read, and I genuinely can’t wait for the 3rd book. I really feel desperate to know more about Hawthorne, as much as poor Horowitz in this book.