The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz

Century | 2022 | 384p | Review copy and Bought copy | Buy the book

Everything is looking up for our author Anthony Horowitz. His play Mindgame is about to open on the London stage, which means he can finally finish his uneasy literary partnership with former detective Daniel Hawthorne. All is well on opening night and Anthony has reason to be optimistic as he waits at the afterparty for the first reviews to come in. Shockingly, The Sunday Times’ famous critic Harriet Throsby savages the play and its author. It’s the end of the line for the play. It’s also the end of the line for the critic. The next day Harriet is found stabbed, killed by an ornamental knife. Anthony Horowitz owns one very much like it…. The detective in charge has a grudge against Anthony. Daniel Hawthorne might be worth knowing after all.

The Daniel Hawthorne books, of which this is the fourth, are among the most witty, clever and dastardly books that I have ever read. They take apart crime fiction and crime writing and throw it all back together again in a way that leaves the reader, particularly this one, astounded. The fact that the author is one of the two main protagonists, giving astonishing proceedings an air of authenticity and truth, adds an extra edge of fabulous audacity! Anthony tells us everything. He’s at pains to be open with us, to justify himself, and to get things off his chest, especially about Daniel Hawthorne. Daniel is an enigma to Anthony and to us, even though, of course, Anthony Horowitz has created him.

Quite apart from the cleverness of the concept, and the truly brilliant way in which it is delivered, giving the reader all sorts of insight into what life may or may not be like for a successful novelist, The Twist of a Knife is a fantastic crime novel. It has a great plot which, as the title suggests, is as twisty as you could wish, and the characters are so enjoyable, not least the  greatly feared Harriet Throsby. The idea that literary critics are being targeted is developed with relish.

As with the other novels, The Twist of a Knife is hugely entertaining and very witty, largely due to its narrator who, in this novel above all others, has much to prove, especially to the police.

I listened to the audiobook, which was read so well by Rory Kinnear. I recommend it!

Other revews
Magpie Murders
The Moonflower Murders
The Word is Murder
The Sentence is Death
A Line to Kill


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