The Word is Murder

Written by Anthony Horowitz

Review written by Ali Karim

Ali Karim was a Board Member of Bouchercon [The World Crime & Mystery Convention] and co-chaired programming for Bouchercon Raleigh, North Carolina in 2015. He is Assistant Editor of Shots eZine, British correspondent for The Rap Sheet and writes and reviews for many US magazines & Ezines.


The Word is Murder
Century
RRP: £20
Released: August 24 2017
HBK

Following from the genius of “Magpie Murders” comes another murder mystery from the fevered imagination of Anthony Horowitz. Again, we have something fresh, something unusual and something very weird.

Horowitz casts himself as a character in this ingenious narrative - as a writer recording a murder investigation lead by a very odd consultant, the former Detective Daniel Hawthorne. The plan being that a true-crime narrative penned by Horowitz, entitled “Hawthorne Investigates” being the outcome.

Diana Cooper a sixty-year old widower is found murdered by strangulation, only hours after she arranged her own funeral arrangements. The London Police call upon Hawthorne to investigate, and he in turn calls upon Anthony Horowitz to record the investigation for the upcoming book “Hawthorne Investigates”. The trail is most curious, with strands reaching to Hollywood, as well as a seaside resort in Kent [England]. There is tragedy, there is grief as well as much curious machinations of the protagonists as Horowitz [like a stage magician] slowly reveals that the truth is submerged beneath a murky past, where past deeds and the dark edges of human nature converge.

There are many suspects in the murder of Diana Cooper, and the case is further complicated when another murder occurs, and one that is related to a tragedy that was far more convoluted than the police concluded. Though somewhat “weird” in terms of narrative structure, but “weird” in a good way, as Horowitz weaves real-life people into his story, including Publisher Selina Walker, among many others. We also get an insight into Horowitz’s own writing life, with his homages to Christie, Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming as well as his TV writing such as Poirot and Foyle’s War – as well as a nod to his Alex Rider novels. These insights prove fascinating for readers and writers of the British Murder Mystery.

Horowitz reveals his love of the crime / mystery genre as he probes the lives, the loves and the tragedy of his characters with their hidden motivations for murder. It reminded this reader of his After-Dinner speech at this year’s Crimefest convention. 



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