About this book…
‘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…
If you’ve not read The Word is Murder yet then I highly recommend you do so before starting this book. The narrative is so unexpectedly crafted that I don’t think you could just jump into book 2 of this series without reading the first book to feature Hawthorne, a unique detective who could give Sherlock Holmes a good run for his money any day of the week!
Once again a baffling murder case means the police call in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and he takes along his partner in crime, the author Anthony Horowitz, with the express intention of getting him to then being able to write book 2 about his cases. Now this is where it gets a little confusing for the reader because Anthony is the author himself who then also writes himself into the narrative in an autobiographical style. This took me a while to get used to in the last book as I wasn’t sure if what was happening really had happened due to the author bringing in his own lifestyle as plot points within a fictional setting!
I really enjoyed this classic Murder mystery with a twist. There are clues along the way but also red herrings galore and I had absolutely no idea who the murderer was until it was properly revealed near the end. When a man is murdered using a very expensive bottle of wine and a clue is written on the wall beside him, it falls to Hawthorne to work out who and why, ably assisted by the author Anthony Horowitz who will then use the investigation to write his next bestseller based on Hawthornes experience…if Horowitz can stand his company this time!
I love these characters and really do hope that this series is adapted for television. I even have the perfect actor lined up in my head to play Hawthorne ( the sublime Rupert Graves who I had in my head for this character as soon as I met him in The Word is Murder!). These books are wonderfully written crime mysteries that definitely need to be read to be appreciated for their unique approach to modern day crime solving.
Highly recommended by me!
Meet the author…
ANTHONY HOROWITZ is the author of the US bestselling Magpie Murders and The Word is Murder, and one of the most prolific and successful writers in the English language; he may have committed more (fictional) murders than any other living author. His novel Trigger Mortis features original material from Ian Fleming. His most recent Sherlock Holmes novel, Moriarty, is a reader favorite; and his bestselling Alex Rider series for young adults has sold more than 19 million copies worldwide. As a TV screen – writer he created both Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle’s War on PBS. Horowitz regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, and in January 2014 was awarded an OBE.