The Sentence Is Death
by Anthony Horowitz
Publication Date : May 28, 2019
Pages : 384
Synopsis From Publisher :
Death, deception, and a detective with quite a lot to hide stalk the pages of Anthony Horowitz’s brilliant murder mystery, the second in the bestselling series starring Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne.
“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 realizes that these secrets must be exposed—even at the risk of death .
If I had to choose one word to describe The Sentence Is Death it would be enjoyable. Although I love being scared, creeped out, and disturbed while reading ; it was nice to just enjoy a book. To laugh out loud rather than shudder and wince. The Sentence Is Death is a delightful and compelling read set in modern times with all the staples of a classic crime fiction story.
When prominent divorce attorney Richard Pryce is murdered in his home, the police are struggling to solve the case. The police request the assistance of former detective turned private investigator Daniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne brings along his “biographer” Tony to document the investigation. As the investigation into Pryce’s death begins to draw out, Tony has no doubt that Pryce’s murder will be solved easily. However he wonders if he will ever solve the walking mystery which is Hawthorne.
Hawthorne and Tony have a unique and complicated relationship. Hawthorne has enlisted Tony to document his investigations as a private investigator for publication. I believe they like each other but there are certain parts of their personalities that irritate the other. Hawthorne has more narrow minded views of society, while Tony is more tolerant. As writer a Tony is prone to be inquisitive whereas Hawthorne is more observant. These are just a few of the differences which cause Hawthorne and Tony to constantly butt heads.
The Sentence Is Death is the second book of the Hawthorne series. When I read the first book of this series The Word Is Murder, I wondered why and how on earth Tony could stand Hawthorne. When he is not saying something rude and or offensive, he is moody and distant. However the more I read I totally understood why Tony could not just walk away from their joint venture. There is something about Hawthorne which draws you in. His reluctance to share any personal details of his life makes him more intriguing. On the rare occasion when personal info is offered, more questions about Hawthorne present themselves. With Hawthorne, Horowitz has created a character most readers will dislike but for some reason they will want to know everything about him.
The Sentence Is Death is filled with references for book lovers, such as Foyles Bookshop ( one of my first stops when I visit London ) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Horowitz also discusses the difficulties authors face when trying to adapt their books for TV shows. One particular reference I found quite enjoyable was the book club Hawthorne belongs to. (This is a prime example of what I mentioned in the previous paragraph. A personal detail about Hawthorne is revealed but now I have more questions. How did he learn about this book club as he is not a very social person? He is a reader, so he can’t be that bad, right? How does he behave at this book club? ) Hawthorne’s book club is described as diverse and energized; exactly the type of book club I would love to join.
The central mystery of The Sentence Is Death is a classic “who done it”. All of the suspects are laid out as well as their possible motive. The reader just has to put it together. There are no shocking revelations nor violence. Just good old fashioned deductive reasoning. In The Sentence Is Death, Horowitz has seamlessly and beautifully modernized the classic fiction novel.
Murder and Moore Rating:
5 out of 5 Stars