“The Sentence is Death” by Anthony Horowitz is book two in the “Hawthorne” series, but readers will easily follow the action, clues, and personality clashes even without having read the previous book, “The Word is Murder.” The series is a unique adaptation of the classic Holmes/Watson relationship, with Horowitz taking Watson’s role as the writer of a book about the controversial antics of Daniel Hawthorne, the somewhat annoying private detective taking the Holmes role.
Fact and fiction merge in the narrative as Horowitz balances between his work on BBC TV and the frequent demands on his time by bothersome Hawthorne who insists that more be written for the book about him. The adaptation absolutely works with both characters morphing into the classic characters within the context of a current case, the murder of a divorce lawyer.
Readers are drawn into the investigation as Horowitz and Hawthorne examine, hypothesize, analyze, and conclude. Of course, all is not as it appears at first, and there are many twists and turns before the truth is uncovered. The plot is filled with humor, antics, wit, and secrets. Horowitz and Hawthorne uncover the good, the bad, and the in-between. The clues emerge gradually, and astute readers may attempt to decode them only to find that the solution is wrong and the ending is a surprise.
“The Sentence is Death” is entertaining and engaging. The writing and dialogue are enjoyable, and the characters are uniquely appealing. I received a copy of “The Sentence is Death” from Anthony Horowitz and Harper Collins Publishers. I positively enjoyed reading it, and I cannot wait for the next installment.