“A Line to Kill” is Anthony Horowitz’s third novel starring Detective Daniel Hawthorne and himself as narrator / sidekick.
Yes, instead of creating a narrator / sidekick like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Dr Watson for Sherlock Holmes, he made himself the narrator / sidekick.
It’s a gimmick that sometimes feels self-promoting as Horowitz references his other Hawthorne Mysteries novels and characters. Hawthorne’s first books are “The Word is Murder” and “The Sentence is Death”. But the approach is also wonderfully unique. The concept and the gruff relationship between Hawthorne and Horowitz is growing in you.
And the last, “A Line to Kill,” is arguably Hawthorne’s best book to date … and judging by the end of that novel, Hawthorne’s books won’t stop at a trilogy (even if the fiction Horowitz seems to hope so) because the real Horowitz seems to have more stories to tell.
Especially when it comes to solving the mystery that is Daniel Hawthorne.
Here, Horowitz and Hawthorne are embarking on a book fair to promote the upcoming release of Hawthorne’s first book. Given his background in literary circles, Horowitz believes he will finally have the upper hand in a situation with Hawthorne.
The usually reluctant Hawthorne is charming at the book fair and, to Horowitz’s dismay, everyone is far more interested in a detective than the author who writes about detectives.
And when the head of the book fair, a wealthy sponsor is assassinated, Hawthorne leads the investigation.
Although set in contemporary times, “A Line to Kill” looks like a classic murder mystery with its settings on a small island. The relationship between Hawthorne and Horowitz is now familiar and enjoyable to regular readers. We learn a little more about Hawthorne but not enough to spoil the recipe for success of the series.
And “A Line to Kill” is also a good point for new readers. You don’t need to read the previous two books to follow the story here.
No mystery here. “A Line to Kill” is the best of the Hawthorne series and one of Horowitz’s best books.