Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz


Reviewer : Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore, False Lights & Sacred Lake. (www.gillianhamer.com)


What we thought: I have come to expect a lot from Mr Horowitz, never one to take the easy route, always clever and entertaining, and yet again with a new twist, this book certainly did not lower my expectations.

Like his last book, The Magpie Murders, Horowitz gives us POV with a twist. This time the twist is that he’s chosen himself as the narrator and central to the plot. I loved the effort he went to in order to create something yet again so original.

Here we meet Hawthorn, an ex-CID detective with a shadowed past, who in the style of Morse, chooses to go by his surname only. Horowitz becomes acquainted with him as an advisor on his crime TV work, and when Hawthorne asks our author to write a book about him … it’s not long before he wishes he’d taken his own initial advice and stayed well clear.

It’s a complex and entertaining plot. A woman arranges her own funeral on the day she is brutally murdered. Was this a portent? A clever suicide? A cry for help? Or something much more sinister.

Hawthorn and our long-suffering author set out to solve the crime and produce a gripping biographical work at the same time. Not easy you may think … and you’d be right. Like chalk and cheese on the personality front, it's not long before the detective duo run into trouble and form an instant dislike to each other. But as in many of these stories, they both come good for each other in the end. Indeed, was this the end ...

There was so much to enjoy here, from the twists and turns of a gripping crime plot to the clever POV and behind the scenes glimpses into life as a best-selling author. One of the books where I dreaded the end coming too soon and certainly one to read for any crime fans out there.

You’ll enjoy this if you like : P.D James, Peter May, Ian Rankin.

Avoid if you don’t like : Surly detectives and stubborn writers.

Ideal accompaniments: Full English breakfast and a mug of builders’ tea.

Genre : Crime.

Available on Amazon

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