The Sentence Is Death

The Sentence Is Death

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"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.
Publisher: Toronto : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2019.
ISBN: 9781443455510
Characteristics: 373 pages ;,24 cm.

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h
horthhill
Jul 08, 2019

“The Sentence is Death” by Anthony Horowitz is, by far, one of the better cozy murder mysteries I’ve read in the past year. The sleuth is a cantankerous ex-cop turned genius private detective. Hawthorne. The story is told by a fellow named Anthony Horowitz who has a three book deal with Penguin Random House to record
Hawthorne’s detecting. Tony gets in Hawthorne’s way. They quibble. Tony gets it all wrong. Hawthorne gets it all right. Really well plotted with clues everywhere. A fun good read.

e
Eil_1
Jul 02, 2019

Despite being a fan of Horowitz, I could not get into this novel. Perhaps bad timing?

h
hartleyra
Jun 29, 2019

This second book merits only 1.5 stars. The first one (Word is Murder) was a better read, subjectively, because it was the first of this series and contained an unusual twist placing the author - as himself - front and centre as the main character telling the story. But practically from the beginning of this second book it disappointed, affronted, annoyed and ended up making me glad to be done with it, when I was.

The few cops- including his 'hero' main character Hawthorne - are nearly as bad as the criminals (not mere human failings and flaws but actual disregard for the law they ostensibly are sworn to serve), no one is at all likable or relatable, not even the author as himself, the main character. Certainly not Hawthorne.

As the reader, I could not care for a single person this novel – certainly not even the author – at the least he should be if he expects his audience to continue on his journey with him. He portrays himself as a rather dull-witted, always left behind, narcissist. No other character in this story (bare glimpse of a wife – not enough to glom onto) finds an emotional hook for the story to keep going. In fact, why would he spend any time in the realm of his characters either by choice or by assignment. I certainly didn’t enjoy it and can see no reason to do it again.

Fortunately Horowitz has written more enjoyable books and screenplays and I am happy to return to those.

DCLadults Jun 25, 2019

A New & Noteworthy pick. Anthony Horowitz once again writes himself into his own murder mystery to most entertaining purposes. Try to guess who actually killed the divorce lawyer with an expensive wine bottle. And good luck!

DPLjennyp Jun 24, 2019

The second in a fun series with the author portraying himself as a modern-day Watson. Horowitz plants clues in a way that invites readers to solve the crime before he does if they have the gumption to do so (it's not easy!).

w
workhorse6491
Jun 16, 2019

The "author as participant" aspect of Horowitz's writing is indeed interesting. I enjoy him constantly being "dissed" by the ex-detective he is assisting and recording. Maybe one more book of this type... and then off to another plot device. As for this mystery, it's quite good: not so much loaded with atmosphere or urgency, but with character sketches. Quite enjoyed it... a smooth, fast read.

m
midori_hon
Jun 11, 2019

I didn't enjoy this 2nd hawthorne installment as much as the first. one of the characters is a japanese woman named akira, and every time I saw it in print I wondered which kanji were used because it is predominantly a man's name. if she were of different descent I wouldn't have kept going down a rabbit hole of my own making because the name wouldn't have bothered me.

v
ValinOR14
Jun 10, 2019

I love this series so much! I love the parts that make me laugh out loud, like when the fictional Horowitz says: "I like to be in control of my books. I had no wish to turn myself into a character, and a secondary one at that: the perennial sidekick." Or "You cannot have a central character who is, by his very nature, unpleasant." Hilarious! I never come close to figuring the mysteries out, and I can't wait to see where the "Billy" thread goes. Oh. And have I mentioned this series is fun??

n
nelll
Jun 03, 2019

Not too crazy about this book...good English humour....that’s about it....

l
lizharr
May 26, 2019

WSJ 5/25/19

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