Cover Image: A Line to Kill

A Line to Kill

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Member Reviews

A line to kill is the next instalment of the Daniel Hawthorne saga, the interesting aspect of these books is that the author Anthony Horowitz is also a lead character. He can have fun with his own character, as seen when Elizabeth Lovell’s husband describes Anthony Horowitz “Dark hair, untidy, going grey. Jewish. Late fifties. Didn’t shave this morning. Short sleeved shirt, Linen trousers …..crumpled.

Description of Alderney very believable and the setting of a book festival also appealed as having experienced one or two! Hawthorne comes across as unlikable as before but possibly this is part of his charm….we want to find out what makes him tick. As usually many twists and turns, but all the clues are there for us to follow.
I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next instalment.
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An unusual format for a novel as the author is both the narrator and a character in the plot. Horowitz is attending a literary festival in Alderney along with the lead character in his book, private detective Daniel Hawthorne. This is a tiny event with only half-a-dozen participants and Horowitz doesn't expect to garner any significant promotional benefit from attending. But he is in for a surprise. Not only does the visit generate significant publicity but he also finds himself acquiring everything he needs for another novel involving Hawthorne. 
Suffice to say murder is involved and Hawthorne is roped in by the detective, brought in from Guernsey, to assist in finding the culprits. All the authors visiting for the festival come under suspicion and Horowitz ensures there are red herrings aplenty to keep you turning the page. Thanks to excellent writing and fully formed characters the culprit, once revealed, is a real surprise. 
So an excellent read by a very skilled writer and, in the last paragraphs he drops a hint about somewhere called "Reeth" that involves Hawthorn, albeit Hawthorne has denied any link to it. So we already have the start of a mystery for the next novel.  
Clever stuff, full of surprises and ,most definitely, an enjoyable read.
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A classic page turning ‘whodunnit’ written from an interesting perspective with the author as a main character.  Plenty of evidence and twists which kept me guessing, an eclectic range of characters set in the picturesque island of Alderney. 
This is my first ‘adult’ book by Anthony Horowitz, having read many from the ‘Alex Rider’ series with my children,  and once again the text simply transports you into the story.
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"I couldn't see the sea from my bedroom, but I could hear the waves breaking in the distance they reminded me that I was on a tiny island - and so was the killer. We were both trapped."

Author Anthony Horowitz is working again with former Detective Inspector, now private detective Daniel Hawthorne. In between novel one and two of the series, they attend a literary festival on the small channel island of Alderney. The other authors are an eclectic group, including a children's author, a French poet, a brash TV chef now author, a blind psychic and a war historian. When they arrive they encounter a feud about a controversial powerline, with locals split into two camps. Enigmatic Hawthorne steals Horowitz's thunder at their talk, but events are soon overtaken when the festival's main sponsor, an unlikeable local businessman advocating for the power line, is found brutally murdered at a party for the festival. Police arrive from Guernsey and lockdown the island, but admit little experience investigating murder, so seek Hawthorne's input. Will the unlikely duo identify the killer before they kill again?

This is book three in the series where the author is a protagonist in his own novel, trailing a private detective and writing books about his cases. A locked room (island) mystery gives a small number of suspects and the idyllic setting, also within the literary world, adds to the atmosphere. Some characters are not entirely as they seem and others have hidden agendas. Whilst the murder is brutal, it's neither gory nor gruesome; it's more in the 'cosy murder' category, which is more than made up for by the intelligent plotting, fully formed characters and numerous twists and turns.

A clever and affectionate tribute to golden age whodunits, this has tongue-in-cheek humour and riddles within riddles, making it vastly superior to many murder mysteries. Highly recommended!
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Another winner from Anthony Horowitz. A murder mystery told with wit and red herrings aplenty.
Thank you to netgalley and random house for an advance copy of this book
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This is the third book in Anthony Horowitz's 'Hawthorne and Horowitz' series, yet is a  stand alone mystery with only veiled references to previous cases and shared experiences between the detective and the author. 
The clever device of making himself the author within the novel allows Horowitz to explain a mystery unfolding from his point of view and to portray himself as a hopeless and hapless investigator, completely misunderstanding the clues as they appear and jumping on the red herrings with glee. It is interesting way of writing and one that sweeps the reader along. 
Horowitz, as the author of a new Hawthorne Investigates book has been invited along with his moody and taciturn ex-detective to a literary festival on the Island of Alderney. This is the first event they pair have done together and the author is unsure how it will go. As he is fretting about how to make Hawthorne more likeable to the audience, he manages to miss a whole bubbling mess of connections between the apparently random selection of writers at the festival. 
When the event sponsor is murdered one evening, Hawthorne is asked to help the local police with the enquiries and Horowotz is there to record the goings on in the hope that he can use the case for his next book. Because of the island setting and the literary festival there is a limited cast of characters, all of whom have secrets which are gradually exposed.
The setting, the island of Alderney, with its world war 2 relicts and history makes a good backdrop but it is the relationship between the two main character, the author Horowitz and the ex-detective, Hawthorne that really makes this book. Every time Horowitz appears to be getting close to the detective he is brushed aside and put down. All his attempts to be friends or even equals with Hawthorne are batted away. Horowitz is self-depreciating and someone accepting of his role as second best. The arrangement is great fun and makes an amusing read.
I read this book in a couple of days. It grabbed my attention and is an effortless read. I will very happily look out for more in the series.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for my ARC copy in return for an honest review.
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This is the third book Horowitz has written, and as in the previous two books Horowitz takes on the role of a bumbling amateur detective,, Hastings to ex detective Hawthorne’s Poirot.    Horowitz as in the previous books has been persuaded to write a series of books about Hawthorne.  The story is set on the Isle of Alderney, a sleepy place where not much happens, or so the inhabitants want visitors to believe.  The island has organised a literary festival and Horowitz has been invited but only on the condition that Hawthorne goes as well..  Hawthorne is a former detective turned private detective and sometime advisor to the Police.  Very soon it becomes abundantly clear all is not as it seems on the island.  A murder is committed, the wealthy patron of the festival is found dead and the police from Guernsey are called to the island to Investigate, they in turn enlist the help of Hawthorne who has lost none of his skills in deducing crimes.  Hawthorne soon gets to work interviewing the writers attending the festival as well as some of the local inhabitants, and as usual Horowitz tags along trying to solve the crime, looking at clues, but without much success.    The premise of these books by Horowitz is extremely clever, he does not mind in the least  taking on a supporting role to that of Hawthorne.  The book is full of red herrings and misdirections. Horowitz gives little witticisms about publishers, agents and others in the literary world none are meant to cause offence, they add to the enjoyment of the book.  The  book is a pleasure to read.  Horowitz has drawn characters you can hear speak from the narrative and the development of the story  is superb.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which I would describe as a cosy crime, nothing gruesome about this book.  My thanks to NetGalley Random House UK and Cornerstone for the opportunity to read this ARC
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This is another hugely enjoyable metafictional murder mystery from Anthony Horowitz. This is the third book in which a fictionalised version of Horowitz appears alongside the private investigator and ex-police detective Daniel Hawthorne, following on from 'The Word is Murder' and 'The Sentence is Death'. In this book, Horowitz has finished writing 'The Word is Murder' which is due to be published later that year. He and Hawthorne receive their first invitation to attend a literary festival on the island of Alderney. Horowitz normally loves literary festivals, but this one seems rather underwhelming, and he is less than impressed with the line-up of other writers due to join them there, which includes a French-speaking performance poet, a spiritualist medium and an ITV2 chef. Add to this a few suspicious local characters and some tensions on the island surrounding plans for a power line connecting France and Britain, and the scene is set for the perfect murder mystery. 

Hawthorne and Horowitz once again make an excellent double-act. Hawthorne largely fits the stereotype of the maverick investigator, and in this novel, we gain a few more insights in to the events that led to Hawthorne's expulsion from the police force. Horowitz, meanwhile, makes an effective sidekick, in the tradition of Dr Watson and Captain Hastings - perhaps a little savvier but also prepared to let the reader have a laugh at the expense of his fictional alter-ego. There is an interesting tension between Hawthorne's commitment to solving the mystery and Horowitz's desire for a good story, and Horowitz creates further humour through his bruised ego when Hawthorne attracts a greater share of the limelight than him when promoting their book. 

Horowitz is perhaps the ultimate crime writer's crime writer: in both the Hawthorne series and the Magpie/Moonflower Murders books, he manages to construct whodunnits which are ingeniously plotted and include all the ingredients of a classic detective novel, whilst also reflecting on what makes us enjoy these stories so much. Once again, 'A Line to Kill' delivers plenty of clues, twists and red herrings, with an ending that is very satisfying, but the overall feel of the book is playful and entertaining rather than overly gritty or macabre. 
Although this is a genre which is inevitably a little formulaic, the change of setting means that this doesn't just feel like a re-hash of the last two novels. Having all the suspects confined in one place cut off from the rest of the world is a staple of the detective genre but new to this series, and it is effective in holding our interest. 

If you like detective fiction then you are almost certain to enjoy this book. This can be read as a standalone, but I would recommend reading 'The Word is Murder' and 'The Sentence is Death' first as there are a few references to earlier events in the novels. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC to review.
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One of my favourite authors..
Great read other than a rather puzzling abrupt ending. Perhaps another book is planned ?
Don’t know.
Kept me interested all the way through.
Good holiday read.
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(Had no idea by the blurb,that this was the 3rd book in a series) 
Uniquely told by the authors perspective it took me a while to get into but once did it was a good read with wit and great descriptions of Alderney
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‘That’s something you can put in your book. It’s a line to kill if ever I saw one.’
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Anthony Horowitz is a GO TO for me, I love all his mystery novels and this was no exception. The third in his Hawthorne & Horowitz series, but can also be read as a stand alone
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There has never been a murder on Alderney.
It's a tiny island, just three miles long and a mile and a half wide. The perfect location for a brand-new literary festival. Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne has been invited to talk about his new book. The writer, Anthony Horowitz, travels with him.
Very soon they discover that all is not as it should be. Alderney is in turmoil over a planned power line that will cut through it, desecrating a war cemetery and turning neighbour against neighbour.
The visiting authors - including a blind medium, a French performance poet and a celebrity chef - seem to be harbouring any number of unpleasant secrets.
When the festival's wealthy sponsor is found brutally killed, Alderney goes into lockdown and Hawthorne knows that he doesn't have to look too far for suspects.
There's no escape. The killer is still on the island. And there's about to be a second death...
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It’s quite a risk adding yourself as a character in your novels but the way Horowitz does it is just so clever and a risk that’s more than worth it. I love the relationship between Horowitz & Hawthorne, a constant tug of war in which Horowitz always seems to be on the short end, although the friendship shines through in the end. I also love that this instalment is set just as the first book is released and takes place on the book tour for that novel whilst he’s trying to plan for the second, a very fun and interesting plot point and an enjoyable one to read, I couldn’t have enjoyed this book more and look forward to hopefully many more adventures with Hawthorne & Horowitz!!
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Thank you to Netgalley & Penguin Random House UK for the ARC
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This is the third book in a series but can be read as a standalone. The main characters are a former police detective David Hawthorne and the author Anthony Horowitz characterised as himself. I found this a little distracting and didn’t even realise this for a while as I assume I was reading a prologue and not the actual book. I didn’t  much care for the idea of Horowitz having himself in a book as it kept reminded me that it was indeed just a book and distracted me from being fully immersed in the plot. It was a little like watching the recording of a radio show and being distracted by seeing actors reading scripts and assistants making noises with props. 

Aside from my distraction by the characters the plot was good with the many twists you’d expect from Horowitz. The action all takes places on the Channel Island of Alderney at a Writer’s Festival. Hawthorne and Horowitz and the other five authors attend a cocktail party at the stunning home of wealthy businessman Charles le Mesurier who is heavily involved in a project to bring a power line across from Normandy to Britain via Alderney. Many of the locals are vehemently opposed to this project and there are many protests happening. Charles le Mesurier is going to benefit significantly as he has sold some of his land at a hugely inflated price to house some of the ugly equipment and he appears to have undue influence over some local to support the project.

And then there is a murder...  Alderney has no police force so Hawthorne is asked to help the police who are coming from neighbouring Guernsey. There are plenty of twists and it’s the good page turner you’d expect from Anthony Horowitz.

With thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the first book I have read by this author although I loved his 'Foyles War' which was written for tv. This is somewhat unusual in that the author is himself a character in the book.Commissioned to write a series of books based on the real life exploits of ex Scotland Yard Daniel Hawthorne who now works as a consultant for police forces struggling with particular cases.
Invited to a literary festival on the island of Alderney they arrive with an assortment of other authors to find an island divided over the proposal to allow electricity supply cables to cross the island,digging up a wartime cemetery and generally ruining some of the finest views on the island. The prime mover behind the scenes the corrupt and much loathed businessman and the literary festival sponsor Charles le Mesurier and when he found murdered in a particularly gruesome manner the list of suspects is extremely long encompassing half the island!
Constantly reminded there's never been a murder on Alderney the police from Guernsey aren't particularly experienced either and lose no time co opting ex Detective Inspector  Hawthorne to assist. 
Alderneys crime figures take another jolt when the victims wife is also murdered .Hawthorne thinks he has the killer but more twists lie in wait.
An interesting mystery with a captive cast of suspects trapped in effect on an island with at least one murderer  on the loose..Having the author present allows him to be an immediate narrator who is also as lost as we are in trying to identify the killer which I must confess I didn't. I really enjoyed the book and look forward to the next in the series
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This is the third book in the Horowitz and Hawthorne series, and I am sure there will be more.

Horowitz is writing the memoirs of Hawthorne, and they are both sent by their publishers to an inaugural book festival in Alderney. I have to admit I have never read a book before where the author has put himself in the book and not always in the most flattering of ways!

There is a mix of other authors also invited, but not everyone is who they appear to be and before tensions rise and there is a murder, the first one ever on Alderney.

I enjoyed this book but maybe not as much as the previous two, the relationship between Horowitz and Hawthorne is never the most cordial, and I have to admit I am finding it a little tedious the way Hawthorne always has to try and 'one-up' Horowitz, even with something as small as getting meeting times wrong. 

I look forward to the next one and hope more will be revealed regarding the mysterious Hawthorne
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Thank you to Netgalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone and Anthony Horowitz for my arc of A Line to Kill in exchange for an honest review.

Publishing: 19th August 2021

This is the third book in Anthony Horowitz’s Hawthorne & Horowitz’s Mysteries series which can also be read as standalones. These books are cleverly written incorporating Anthony himself as the main character, a crime fiction writer who has agreed (sometimes to his regret) to follow around and write about an ex detective inspector turned private investigator Daniel Hawthorne.

Book 3 was just as excellent as the first two. Horowitz and Hawthorne find themselves on the channel island of Alderney to attend a literary festival and Horowitz is immediately suspicious by Hawthorne’s keenness to attend. Usually intensely private even with the few people he calls friends, it’s a mystery why he would want to go on stage and talk about himself and their investigations.

But the last thing Horowitz was expecting was for the pair to be thrown right into the middle of yet another murder investigation. With the island on lockdown and the local police struggling with an investigation of this magnitude, they soon become embroiled in solving the case.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story and didn’t put it together until the end it was a very clever plot with the ‘locked door mystery’ style of an Agatha Christie. Definitely recommended for any fan of a ‘cosy’ mystery.
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Bumbling Watson Horowitz and Sherlockian Hawthorne do literary festival

I was excited to be offered the latest outing of this amusing pairing of author and frustrating maverick ex policeman as a digital Arc, and had to immediately plunge within.

Horowitz is a admirably clever and prolific author, one who scintillates and dazzles, sometimes showing off his cleverness – but always most enjoyably. For those who have not encountered this particular literary thriller set, you can read this as a standalone, but it will be most enjoyable if you read the previous two outings of Horowitz and Hawthorne first, to get the pleasure of this developing relationship – The Word Is Murder, followed by The Sentence Is Death.

For those who have done just that, this time, Hawthorne has been taken up by the literary festival set, and is very much the star of the show, much to Horowitz’s annoyance. The pair decamp to Alderney, for a brand new literary festival. The tiny island, and most particularly the location of the festival itself, and the hotel where the various speakers are staying, provide the delicious version of the country house murder mystery.

Murder will ensue, of course, and Hawthorne joins forces with the local police to solve it. Horowitz tries to solve things himself, and of course is slow-witted and somewhat unintelligent, though always keen to do better at detecting than Hawthorne

Tremendous fun. 

If I couldn’t rave QUITE as much as I normally do, it was because I was disappointed to have sussed the perp quite early, and also sussed the outing of another potential perp, in their particular piece of wrong-doing. Maybe I’ve just got better at unravelling Horowitz’s particular methods, or the tricks of the genre itself, but part of the extreme pleasure of Horowitz’s writing for me is that I CAN’T fathom the who-dunnit and am constantly chasing the red herrings. I love being bamboozled by clever Horowitz, and being left, at the end bemoaning my stupidity. I did not enjoy my ‘cleverness’, in solving the mysteries within.
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This is an excellent book and I’ve enjoyed the previous books. It’s a really interesting idea that the author is part of the story who then writes the story. It’s quite different from your usual run of the mill detective story. I own the previous books as kindle books and I also bought them as audiobooks I enjoyed them so much. I must of read and listened to them a couple of times and a little bit more of the stories unfold each time. This series is just getting better. I always love it when the scene is so well set. Loving it!
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A Line to Kill is the third and latest installment in famed mystery writer Anthony Horowitz's A Hawthorne and Horowitz series. This novel chronicles the exploits of former police detective, current P.I. David Hawthorne and the man hired to Hawthorne's exploits and embellish his reputation is mystery novelist Anthony Horowitz. Yes, Anthony Horowitz is the author of books about Daniel Hawthorne as written by Anthony Horowitz. Quite a twist.
The book about the first adventure that the two had is due to be published. That book is not finished and falling behind deadlines. Hawthorne and Horowitz aren't clicking. They don't communicate well. The publisher believes that a jaunt to Alderney, a small island off the English coast to attend the islands first ever book festival, would be a good opportunity for writer and P.I. to interact and hopefully get the book completed.
Dutifully, the duo flies off to Alderney to prepare for the festival. The festival will be held the next day and features a program of 5 other presenters, a war historian expert in Alderney's WWII occupation, a former TV chef now cookbook author and his assistant, a much beloved children's author and a French performance poet. Hawthorne and Horowitz will appear last and be the "no book" book promoters.
As the festival is the next afternoon, the attendees are free to acquaint themselves with the island, the festival sights and learn the meaning of the BAN-NAB signs everywhere. BAN-NAB it seems refers to an issue splitting the populous. A French company (NAB) wants to construct a power line from France across Alderney and on to England. Promised to citizens of Alderney is inexpensive power but rumors of proposed destruction of property, and bribes have raised heated arguments and threats.
The day of the festival arrives and with it an invitation for all the presenters, many festival attendees and some invited guests to attend a cocktail party after the festival at the architecturally outstanding home of the wealthy businessman Charles Le Mesrier and his wife.
At the festival, the participants make their presentations and then answer questions from the audience. Unusual for a Book Festival, several questions are hostile, argumentative and personal. An odd question posed to Hawthorne piques Horowitz's interest but Hawthorne claims the question was meaningless.
The session ends and all retire to change for the cocktail party. Whether by shuttle bus, on foot or in the one car on the island, the guests arrive at the Le Mesrier home. The magnificent modern mansion has wonderful views of the sea and a gorgeously decorated interior. Guests and host mingle and there are a few pointed exchanges, some personal, some political. As guests begin to depart, Charles Le Mesrier is nowhere about. 
Next morning. Departure day! No. There will be no departures - none. Last evenings host has been found brutally murdered in the private ocean view hidaway.
As Alderney is so peaceful that it needs no police force, Daniel Hawthorne is asked to do preliminary investigations until a police force can be brought to the island. 
Now we will get to see Hawthorne's skills as he investigates the murder - oh wait - soon there will be another murder. Mrs. Le Mesrier will be murdered.
Weaving through conflicting stories, fake clues, odd events, twisted tales, and hidden agendas, Hawthorne with a bit (small bit) of help from Horowitz manages to piece together all the information and arrive at explanations for how the crimes were committed and importantly why the crimes were committed.
In all, this is an interesting read. The Anthony Horowitz writing the book - not the Anthony Horowitz in the book, knows how to construct a story that builds and leads you along sometimes turning you to the left when you should be looking to the right but all along the journey is interesting. The purpose of the Alderney trip is not met. Hawthorne and Horowitz do not become fast friends, sharing inside stories and palling around. But there is a tiny bit of of communication between them. A good sign for another book?
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley. #NetGalley #ALineToKill
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I received this book from the publishers via Netgalley for a review. Loved the characters and how Anthony Horowitz put himself in the book and the love/hate relationship between the two protagonist. Well paced keeps you guessing till the end.
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This is the third volume of Anthony Horowitz crime series featuring Horowitz as himself, writing reluctantly about his misadventures with ex-policeman Hawthorne. In this book, Horowitz' publishers send him and Hawthorne to Alderney to a literary festival when a murder occurs to keep them on the island. As with the other books in this series this is very enjoyable if you like the idea of the meta approach to crime writing. Horowitz lampoons himself wonderfully and is the resentful village idiot next to the savant that is Hawthorne. There are little nuggets along the way if you've read the other two books which mean that you learn more and your interest is piqued and a nice trail for the next book at the end of this one. It's kind of old fashioned in the best way and has more than a nod to his literary forebears like Christie and even his own writing in things like Midsummer Murders. It doesn't take itself too seriously and there are some nicely amusing sections but it also doesn't pull back from some of the grimmer aspects. I enjoyed it immensely.
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