Close to Death by Anthony Horowitz #review

Book cover of Close to Death by Anthony Horowitz

Today’s book review is of Anthony Horowitz’s new novel, Close to Death. Read on to find out what I thought…

Title: Close to Death
Hawthorne & Horowitz #5
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Publisher: Century


Richmond, London . Six attractive houses are tucked away in an exclusive and very upmarket gated Riverside Close. Surrounded by flowers and shrubbery, they’re sealed off from the busy main road and the realities of urban life. At weekends, with the gate locked, the residents enjoy the sound of birdsong, the whirr of mowers, the occasional snatch of opera through an open window.

Everyone knows each other. Everyone gets on.

That is, until the Kenworthies arrive. With their four big gas-guzzling cars, their noisy children and their plans to build a swimming pool in their garden, they quickly offend every one of their neighbours.

When Charles Kenworthy is found dead on his porch, the bolt of a crossbow through his chest, Daniel Hawthorne is called in.

But how do you solve a murder when everyone has the same motive?

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My review:

Close to Death is an excellent new addition to the Hawthorne & Horowitz series, where Horowitz sort-of appears as himself and teams up with the odd but brilliant Detective Hawthorne – but this instalment is a little different as we’re reading about a crime that happened many years ago, and which Hawthorne investigated without Horowitz.

There’s pressure on Horowitz to write another book but Hawthorne has no interesting crimes to solve. So he begins trying to find out about historic cases that he can write about – and a murder in the exclusive Riverside Close in Richmond five years ago presents a baffling but intriguing case for Horowitz to recount. Although we know there is some conclusion to the case, we have to piece it together as we go along, like Horowitz, which adds extra tension.

I hugely enjoyed this book – it felt like a fresh take on the series. There’s less of Horowitz in the main plot, as he’s mainly recounting what he’s told about instead of being right there as the original investigation happened, which is a shame, but the story worked so well. There were plenty of humorous moments as I’ve come to expect from this series, including lots of amusingly deprecating comments about Hawthorne’s sidekick at the time, from a plainly envious Horowitz. I also really enjoyed the location – set in affluent Richmond, and an exclusive road within the area at that, we have a snobbishly entertaining and often flawed cast of characters to get to know.

This book does a great job of combining humour, classic crime references and a twisty, brilliant plot. I love the ‘book within a book’ format and found it all utterly brilliant. Long may this series continue.

My rating: 5/5

Many thanks to the publisher, Century, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.


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