Author: Anthony Horowitz
Due to be published on the 18th August
Category: Crime Fiction, Murder, Mystery
‘I’ve written three books and our deal is over.’ That’s what reluctant author Anthony Horowitz tells ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne in an awkward meeting. The truth is that Anthony has got other things on his mind.
His new play, a thriller called ‘Mindgame’, is about to open at the famous Vaudeville theatre in Shoreditch. Not surprisingly, Hawthorne declines a ticket to the opening night.
A unique twist in this entertaining series is that Anthony Horowitz has cast himself as one of the characters. The fictitious Horowitz teamed up with ex detective Daniel Hawthorne to shadow Hawthorne as he works cases, and turn the investigations into novels. As the three book deal that was agreed upon is completed, Horowitz has decided to move on. His new project, a play, is about to open at the Vaudeville, a Victorian theatre in Shoreditch.
Horowitz, along with the cast, were nervous about the opening night reviews and the appearance of a notoriously ruthless critic at the after show party made everyone jittery. Their fears were well founded when Harriet Thorsby’s scathing review made the papers. But everything was about to get much worse.
Thorsby is found dead the next day, stabbed with an ornamental knife, one of several gifted to those involved with the play. The murder weapon however had Horowitz’s prints on it and he’s arrested and charged. Horowitz is forced ask for Hawthorne’s help to find out the truth as his nemesis, DI Cara Grunshaw, is determined to prove him guilty…and the evidence against him is mounting.
I knew Detective Inspector Cara Grunshaw very well. When Hawthorne was investigating the murder of the Hampstead divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, she had been the officer in charge of the case and she hadn’t been amused when he arrived at the truth ahead of her. That wasn’t the worst of it. I had inadvertently given her false information that had led her to arrest the wrong man — much to Hawthorne’s amusement.
The plot is credible and the characters’ reactions believable, particularly those of someone accused of a crime they didn’t commit…fearing for his future, both personal and career wise. Grunshaw revels in the fact that the damning evidence in the murder case was pointing exclusively to Horowitz, and the tension builds as more is uncovered. Then another critic is found dead in what appear to be suspicious circumstances.
Initially I found the beginning a little slower than previous books but this approach does allows the reader to get a sense of the cast of characters. Before too long Hawthorne and Horowitz are chasing down clues, and with help from Hawthorne’s neighbour, buying themselves some extra time….but Grunshaw is hot on their heels.
We’re teased with a little more information about Hawthorne but he’s still keeping his private life pretty close. I enjoyed the humour, the nods to classic crime, the way Horowitz’s character is portrayed and the reality of his work. Again, very clever plotting meant it was impossible, for me anyway, to guess the perpetrator.
My thanks to Random House and NetGalley for the copy received.
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.