Thursday, September 5, 2019

My Washington Times Review Of 'The Sentence Is Death'

The Washington Times published my review of Anthony Horowitz’s The Sentence Is Death.

In Anthony Horowitz’s previous novel, “The Word Is Murder,” readers were introduced to a character named Anthony Horowitz.

The fictional Anthony Horowitz shares the British writer’s background as a screenwriter and novelist who has written the Alex Rider mystery series for children, several British TV mystery series, including “Foyle’s War” (a favorite of mine), and two James Bond continuation novels and two Sherlock Holmes continuation novels.

In “The Word Is Murder” the fictional Anthony Horowitz acted as a modern-day Watson to a modern-day Holmes, a former Scotland Yard detective-turned private detective named Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, unconventional and immensely unlikable investigator.

Like Doctor John Watson, who was Sherlock Holmes’ assistant and biographer, fictional Anthony Horowitz became a somewhat reluctant chronicler and assistant to Daniel Hawthorne when he agreed to write a biography of the detective.       

In “The Sentence Is Death,” Mr. Horowitz once again follows the detective as he investigates another unusual murder in London.

The novel opens with Anthony Horowitz on the set of “Foyle’s War” as the TV mystery series is filming on a London Street. This season of the program was set in 1947 and Mr. Horowitz explains to the readers the difficulties of filming a period piece on the streets of London.

“Shooting in London is always a horrible business, prohibitively expensive and fraught with difficulties. It often seems that the entire city is deliberately doing everything in its power to stop the cameras turning. Planes will fly overhead. Pneumatic drills and car alarms will burst into angry life. Police cars and ambulances will race past with their sirens blaring,” writes Mr. Horowitz.

Despite these difficulties, the TV crew was filming when a 21st century taxi rolled onto the set with a Justin Timberlake song blasting from the vehicle. Cut!

A man stepped out of the taxi, seemingly unconcerned by the crowd of people around him, many of whom where in period dress.

“He had a sort of cheerful self-confidence that was actually quite cold-blooded, utterly focused on his own needs at the expense of everyone else’s. He was not tall or well built but he gave the impression that, by whatever means necessary, he would never lose a fight. His hair, somewhere between brown and gray, was cut very short, particularly around the ears. His eyes, a darker brown, gazed innocently out of a pale, slightly unhealthy face. This was not someone who spent a lot of time in the sun,” Mr. Horowitz writes. “He was dressed in a dark suit, a white shirt and a narrow tie, clothes that might have been deliberately chosen to say nothing about him. His shoes were brightly polished. As he moved forward, he was already searching for me and I had to ask myself — how had he even known I was here?”

The man called out to Anthony Horowitz and the director asked the writer if he knew the man.

“Yes, I admitted. His name is Daniel Hawthorne, He’s a detective.”

You can read the rest of the review via the below link: 

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