''I''ve written three books and our deal is over.'' That''s what reluctant author Anthony Horowitz tells ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne in an awkward meeting. The truth is that Anthony has got other things on his mind. His new play, a thriller called ''Mindgame'', is about to open at the famous Menier Chocolate Factory in Shoreditch. Not surprisingly, Hawthorne declines a ticket to the opening night. The play is not enjoyed by the critics. In particular, Sunday Times critic Margaret Throsby gives it a savage review, focusing particularly on the writing. The next day, Throsby is stabbed in the heart with an ornamental dagger which, it turns out, belongs to Anthony, and which has his fingerprints all over it. Anthony is arrested by an old enemy . . . Detective Inspector Cara Grunshaw. She''s still smarting from her failure to solve the case described in the second Hawthorne adventure: "The Sentence is Death". She blames Anthony for her failure. And now she''s out for revenge. Thrown into prison and brutally interrogated, Anthony is the prime suspect in Throsby''s murder and as a second theatre critic is found to have died in mysterious circumstances, the net closes in. Ever more desperate, he realizes that only one man can help him. But will Hawthorne take the call?
''My favourite literary hero at the moment is Anthony Horowitz'' - SHARI LAPENA, author of The Couple Next Door and A Stranger in the House _________________________ Death, deception, and a detective with quite a lot to hide: the second novel in the bestselling series starring Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne. _________________________ ''You shouldn''t be here. It''s too late... '' These were Richard Pryce''s last words, overheard moments before the celeb divorce lawyer was bludgeoned to death with a Â£3,000 bottle of wine. Strange circumstances pile up. Pryce was teetotal, so why this bottle? Why those words? Why did the killer paint a number on his wall? And, most importantly, which of the man''s many, many enemies did the deed? Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony , who''s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business. But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. Anthony knows they must be exposed - even at the risk of death... _________________________ ''It''s great fun and often hilarious to watch Anthony, as Hawthorne''s biographer try to solve crimes while hopelessly out of his depth. This is meta-fiction I can get behind.'' - SHARI LAPENA "Anthony Horowitz gets away with murder in all sorts of ways and emerges triumphant " - THE TIMES , Books of the Year "Pure pleasure for readers ... A must-read delight. " - WALL STREET JOURNAL "This is crime fiction as dazzling entertainment , sustained by writing as skilfully light-footed as Fred Astaire" - SUNDAY TIMES CRIME CLUB (STAR PICK) "A crime story that keeps you up into the small hours... a page-turning mystery " - METRO " Sheer genius ... The narrative is hilarious and full of Holmesian clues and deliberate errors which will leave the eagle-eyed reader feeling just a bit smug. A joy from start to finish " - INDEPENDENT "Fans of traditional puzzle mysteries will be enthralled " - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "One of the most creative writers in the country today" - JEREMY VINE " Huge fun ... It''s hard to know why anyone who loves a good mystery wouldn''t thoroughly enjoy the ride " - IRISH INDEPENDENT "A new Anthony Horowitz novel is always something to look forward to . Anyone who likes a good Midsomer -style murder mystery will love The Sentence is Death" - CULTUREFLY ''Succeeds on all levels ... Horowitz has the Midas touch '' - BOOKLIST ''This mystery is a worthy and witty follow-up to last year''s best-seller The Word Is Murder ... brilliant and enigmatic '' - AARP ''No one currently working the field has anywhere near this much ingenuity to burn'' - KIRKUS