The Word Is Murder

I really enjoy the work of Anthony Horowitz. (See The Magpie Murders in a previous entry.) As the originator of Foyle’s War, that wonderful BBC series set in Hastings during World War II, I’ve eagerly looked for any and all of his writing and productions. His work includes children’s fiction – the very popular Alex Rider – and he likes to write sequels to popular detectives like Sherlock Holmes (The House of Silk, Moriarity) and James Bond (Forever and a Day).

I am not so sure about the current one. In The Word Is Murder, Horowitz introduces us to a new detective, the somewhat disgraced former police officer Daniel Hawthorne, and includes himself as one of the characters. As Horowitz follows Hawthorne around London (that would be an accurate description – he never knows where they are going until Hawthorne tells him) Horowitz makes the larger context his own writing projects. Although it’s interesting on one level, on another I kept wondering why he was doing this. I finished rather unsatisfied. No spoiler here, but the somewhat stormy ending referenced a rather obscure part earlier in the plot and it took me some thought to figure it out.

There is a sequel, The Sentence Is Death, which is out sometime this Fall. I’ll read it, and I hope it clarifies some of the unanswered questions. Horowitz writes Hawthorne as a man with a lot of secrets, and maybe more will be revealed. We’ll see. I can always watch Foyle’s War again!

The Word Is Murder

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