BOOKS: A Line to Kill: Anthony Horwitz

A Line to Kill

"A Line to Kill" is Anthony Horowitz's third novel featuring detective Daniel Hawthorne and himself as the narrator/sidekick.

Yes, instead of creating a narrator/sidekick such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Dr. Watson for Sherlock Holmes, he has made himself the narrator/sidekick. 

It's a gimmick that at times seems self-promotional as Horowitz refers to his other novels and characters in the Hawthorne mysteries. The earlier Hawthorne 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 grows on you.

And the latest, "A Line to Kill," is arguably the best Hawthorne book so far ... and judging from the ending of this novel, the Hawthorne books will not stop at a trilogy (even though the fictional Horowitz seems to hope so) because the real Horowitz seems to have more story/stories to tell.

Especially when it comes to solving the mystery that is Daniel Hawthorne.

Here, Horowitz and Hawthorne embark on a book fair to promote the coming release of the first Hawthorne book. Given his experience in literary circles, Horowitz thinks he will finally have the upper hand in a situation with Hawthorne.

The usually reticent Hawthorne is charming at the book fair and much to Horowitz's dismay everyone is far more interested in a detective than they are the author who writes about detectives.

And when the book fair's chief, rich sponsor is murdered, Hawthorne leads the investigation.

Though set in contemporary times, "A Line to Kill" feels like a classic murder mystery with its settings on a tiny island. The relationship between Hawthorne and Horowitz is familiar and enjoyable to regular readers now. We learn a bit more about Hawthorne but not enough to spoil the recipe of the series' success.

And "A Line to Kill" is a good hopping on point, too, for new readers. You don't have to read the two previous books to follow the story here.

No mystery here. "A Line to Kill" is the best in the Hawthorne series and one of Horowitz's best books.

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