Cover Image: A Line to Kill

A Line to Kill

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Member Reviews

Enjoyed this cosy murder mystery.

I'm. struggling between a 3 and 4 star rating... 

There were a few things I'm the plot that seemed a little unrealistic for me - the behaviour of the police overall, the deductions made from the text messages, the use of the internet to look some things up but not others. The murderer's motive felt a little flat and also part of the murder was speculated but never completely explained which I found slightly unsatisfying but was necessary for the ending. 

However, I liked the writing in this book, the descriptions gave me a real sense of Alderney, the different characters and their relationships.

Overall I enjoyed this and am interested in reading more from this author and this series.
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If you like cozy crime, you'll enjoy this one, set at a literary festival in Alderney. Lots of suspicious goings on to be investigated! Not my favourite by this author, but enjoyable.
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I’m looking at the peaceful island of Alderney in a whole new light! Following on from the first two books this story quickly gathers place at a literary festival with murders placed throughout. To y and Hawthorne are the quirky couple as before, with Hawthorne knowing everything, giving nothing away and just letting Tony scrabble along behind him. Anthony Horowitz writes his own character as frustrated, annoyed, a little bit envious, but always slightly in awe of his counterpoint. As a teaser, the stepping stones to the next book are there. Completely enjoyable read.
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A Line to Kill
I did  not realise this was a part of a series, and I'd come late to the party at No.3..
However I did enjoy this one but did feel like I'd missed out a little by not reading the previous ones.
It is set in Alderney a tiny island in the channel isles. Anthony Horowitz ( ! ) is attending a literary festival with his sidekick PI Hawthorne to promote their new book . The sponsor of the festival has been found murdered and they set about to help solve the murder.
I enjoyed it enough to seek out the other two and look forward to reading his next one.
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Never read a novel before where the author is also one of the main characters in the book. A novel that keeps you guessing who knows what and who killed who.
Interesting characters and very enjoyable read but you must be patient if you want to know who did it.
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Hawthorne the private investigator, and Horowitz the author of Hawthorne's previous murder solves, are invited to a literary festival on the small island of Alderney amongst a small group of authors. During the end of a party, the wealthy sponsor of the literary festival is found murdered, tied to a chair, with a paperknife jutted into his neck. This is the first ever murder on Alderney - yet everyone is a suspect. Are the residents as civilised as they seem? And will Hawthorne deduce every secret lurking beneath the amenable surfaces of the suspects?

Firstly, I'd like to kickstart this by saying I'm an avid Sherlock Holmes fan. The first classic book I ever purchased was Sherlock Holmes, I read the entire Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original collection of Sherlock stories and watched many-many-many Holmes dedicated programmes/films (Enola Holmes is my favourite spin-off, whilst the classic Cumberbatch is my favourite screen adaptation). I really really love the narrative of insanely intelligent individual deduces murder mysteries with less intelligent though likeable sidekick bumbling behind. A Line To Kill should be right up my street... right? 

I hate to say that I was bitterly disappointed by such a decorated storyteller as Horowitz but I'm afraid that is the truth. However, I do not wish to put others off this book, merely share my experience so others can accurately determine whether or not this book is for them. 

My foremost complaint is that I hated the dynamic between Horowitz and Hawthorne. It made me quite frustrated that the dialogue between the two was extremely closed off, I could not glimpse at the sort of characters either of them were, I could not describe their personalities to you right now, all I could gather was that they did not particularly like each other. It struck me that Horowitz as a character had a fragile ego, wrote much about his own musings about the killer, and spent much of his time trying to work out why Hawthorne did this, and why Hawthorne did that. Hawthorne himself was simply confusing, he spoke about authors with disdain, yet had sought out publication of his own adventures? His deductions were clumsy and unclear. At one point he decides a text is male as the texter did not use as many abbreviations as the female recipient. For me personally, it wasn't a satisfying dynamic. 

My second complaint is that the prose seems to be dated, yet this is a new book. There were a few misogynistic implications, especially concerning the open marriage between the murdered victim, and his wife. I also noted a fat-phobic observation. 

Admittedly, I did think it was masterful the way Horowitz wrote himself into fiction. Not only that, but he wrote in a way that made me feel every single person on that island (residents and non-residents) were keeping a secret. I especially enjoyed the scene of the seance with Lovell, and it was impossible to count the number of red herrings strewn across the pages. 

Perhaps my scrutiny is harsh. There are plenty of other reviews that are much nicer than mine. And I hope others enjoy the book more than I did. If I said it wasn't my cup of tea, then I would be lying, as aforementioned it is exactly my cup of tea, just... not a very tasty one.
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This book is the third in a series where the author features himself as a protagonist, alongside a somewhat disagreeable, yet likeable private investigator Hawthorne.

The story is set in Alderney, where there has never been a murder, so naturally there is two. Hawthorne aims to find the murderer before the incompetent police who have been tasked with doing so, whilst AH is following Hawthorne around trying not to give too much away to suspects.

It is a good premise where the author doesn't take himself too seriously and turns himself into a three dimensional character complete with flaws just like every other character.
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In this series, Anthony Horowitz writes about an author called Anthony Horowitz who acts as sidekick to Daniel Hawthorne, an ex-detective. It's a clever idea and very entertaining. This 3rd book in the series has them heading off to Alderney to take part in a literary festival. I won't spoil the plot but there is of course a murder.
If you've read Anthony Horowitz before, you'll know to expect a high standard; if you haven't, try this one.
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Anthony Horowitz is undoubtedly a very competent writer and I did enjoy this book very much. I have really enjoyed his Poirot adaptations and others. This book has really made me want to go to Alderney too. not as padded as Moonflower Murders which is a good thing. Excellent plot (although do suspend belief at a Police  Chief asking for amateur help and a community psychiatric nurse as his helper). A few other minor quibbles but that didn't really spoil the enjoyment. Not sure why but I was very sad the second person got murdered. I liked them. Would have preferred to know the full story with Hawthorne and Abbott.
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Beware - plot spoiler in this review

Horowitz has created great characters for this book - including himsel.f.   As I've written in previous reviews, AH isn't afraid of poking a little fun at himself and his apparent character weaknesses!  For some reason Hawthorne is quite likeable - well, everyone seems to like him except AH...

The plot in this book is spot on - when I read there would be two deaths, I immediately thought that one murder would be followed by AH bemoaning, as usual, that he couldn't work out who the murderer was, then the second murder would be of Hawthorne, and AH would finally come into his own and for the first time ever, solve the crime himself, as a kind of homage to Hawthorne 

Thank goodness I was wrong - that would have been just naff!

The plot's great - AH has created plenty of twists and turns with lots of fun sub plots - the best sub plot for me [personal prejudice here] is what happens to the so called medium - sorry, that's another plot spoiler!

I like the setting for this book, its a kind of cheap litereary festival, with downmarket characters.  It's almost claustrophobic, because there's no escape from the backbiting and prejudices that are magnified in the small island community where it all happens.  It should be a lovely place to live, but...

I worried that this could be the end of a three book deal and Hawthorne would be no more - well, there's a hook at the end for at least one more book - sorry, third plot spoiler - so I hope that in a year's time I'll be reading the next one!
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Anthony Horowitz is an incredibly diverse writer - from his YA Alex Ryder, Diamond Brothers and wonderful horror shorts, to his TV writing and adult novels including the Susan Ryeland series, James Bond and Sherlock Holmes updates and this - the third in the Hawthorn and Horowitz Mysteries. Is it wrong to say an author's best character is himself? I hope not, because I love what Horowitz does in this series; featuring himself in almost a Watson to Holmes'' role as the biographer of a brilliant but quirky detective - the ex policeman, now PI Daniel Hawthorne. 
In this, their third outing, the pair are off to Alderney, a tiny island where, we are told, repeatedly, there has never been a murder, for a literary festival consisting of ''second rate' authors'.  
There's so much to enjoy in these books - from the intricate plotting, to the 'spot the reference' (whether you're a crime fan or not), to the characters: Horowtiz's TV work shines through in some of the...stereotypes is the wrong word because it sounds reductive, so lets say 'archetypes' - but you could almost cast the actors playing the secondary roles from their descriptions. But for me, the best parts of these book are the slightly meta elements. The fact that the author portrays himself in a less than flattering light (not the brightest, or worldly, or heroic of men - who, even as they investigate the island's first murder is concerned at being described as a 'lesser author' by those around him, or is disappointed at certain proceedings because he can't see how it'll lead to book sales, are all funny, self effacing touches. Then there's Hawthorne - a combination of  Poirot and Holmes (and why not - the author has written them both) who we slowly unravel over the course of the novels even as the author himself tries to figure out the enigmatic, private eccentric. 
All of it adds up to a great read. It's never too meta to be pretentious or impenetrable for those not familiar with the publishing industry, but it does provide some fascinating insights into the process of writing, being an author and getting a book out to the public. 
At the end of the day though, none of this would matter if the story itself wasn't interesting and well thought out and Horowitz always does a fine job. Here, he plays with the reader through his own character in the book with a 'writer/ reader's guesses of the events going on and the possible murderer based on the twisty crime dramas we've all read promising 'you'll never see the twist coming' - and taking delight in poking fun at those and himself even as he gives us his own audacious turns. 
The best thing I can say - I always look forward to new books by Horowitz, and am prepared to go with whatever series/ character he chooses to write next, whether its his own invention or the estate of the literary greats. And this one certainly doesn't disappoint. Huge fun - and how often can you say THAT about a murder mystery?
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Alderney, tiny island with a brand new literary festival. Author Anthony Horowitz and PI Hawthorne travel there to promote their new book. Suddenly the wealthy festival sponsor is found dead, obviously murdered. The island goes into lockdown and our protagonist starts to investigate.

Nothing is as it seems. Islanders and group of visiting authors have secrets and all are trapped. Tension increases.

Killer cannot escape. 

Unique. Masterly written as all Horowitz's novels, with great flow and humour. And author himself is one of the protagonists! Always in a agreeable dispute with his detective. 

Marvellous, love it!
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