Author: Anthony Horowitz
Published: August 2021 by Century
Category: Murder/Mystery, Crime Fiction, Suspense
When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off the south coast of England, they don’t expect to find themselves in the middle of murder investigation—or to be trapped with a cold-blooded killer in a remote place with a murky, haunted past.
Author Anthony Horowitz has been invited to a meeting at his publishers. Ex Detective Daniel Hawthorne is also invited, although Horowitz doesn’t see the necessity. After all, he’s the writer. Just for once he felt in charge. This was the world of books. His world. Surely it would be Hawthorne that was out of place this time…if he managed to actually turn up. He does, of course, and Horowitz gets the blame for his late arrival.
It transpires they have both been invited to a literary event on the island of Alderney to promote the first book, The Word is Murder. Expecting Hawthorne, who disliked socialising, to refuse citing some excuse or other, Horowitz is taken aback when the invitation is accepted immediately and with seeming pleasure.
‘I’m up for it,’ Hawthorne continued cheerfully as I stared at him in disbelief. ‘I’ve always had it in mind to visit Alderney,’ he went on. ‘It’s an interesting place. Occupied in the war.’
Horowitz never fails to be amazed at the two sides of Hawthorne’s character. His usual demeanour is that of someone who says little and whose social skills are all but non existent, yet he can blindside Horowitz, changing when least expected by being quite charming and fascinating to others.
Several weeks later Horowitz and Hawthorne are on Alderney with an assortment of other guests, including a celebrity chef and a children’s author. As might be expected, it’s not long before a body is discovered and, as Hawthorne and Horowitz assist the police with the investigation, no-one is allowed to leave the island.
We’re led to believe Hawthorne had his own reasons for agreeing to the trip, which adds to the mystery surrounding him and the hope there will be another book…or more than one. I enjoy the banter between Hawthorne and Horowitz as once again Horowitz is left at a disadvantage as Hawthorne’s excellent observations and deductive skills are put to the test.
A Line To Kill is an excellent addition to this fun series. No-one is quite who they seem and much clever plotting and misdirection means views on the whodunit aspect is second guessed constantly. I love the mix—the nod to classic crime and the reality of Horowitz’s work and his self deprecating humour. An extremely engaging and intriguing ‘locked room’ mystery incorporating some island history.
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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.