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***** - Close to Death


CLOSE TO DEATH

ANTHONY HOROWITZ

*****


Richmond Upon Thames is one of the most desirable areas to live in London. And Riverview Close - a quiet, gated community – seems to offer its inhabitants the perfect life.


At least it does until Giles Kenworthy moves in with his wife and noisy children, his four gas-guzzling cars, his loud parties and his plans for a new swimming pool in his garden.


His neighbours all have a reason to hate him and are soon up in arms.


When Kenworthy is shot dead with a crossbow bolt through his neck, all of them come under suspicion and his murder opens the door to lies, deception and further death.


The police are baffled. Reluctantly, they call in former Detective Daniel Hawthorne. But even he is faced with a seemingly impossible puzzle.


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


MY REVIEW

*****


I haven’t read an Anthony Horowitz book for a long time, I think the last one I read was Groosham Grange when I was a kid! I do however always think of him as a very assured author, and I was excited to request ‘Close to Death’ as his latest read.


I didn’t realise this was book 5 of the ‘Hawthorne and Horowitz’ series when I requested to read it, but actually I think this was a great book to pick as it works well as a standalone. No doubt you get some more information on the main characters if you’d read them all, but I wouldn’t worry too much about reading the others before this one if you haven’t already! The book was really interesting, and very meta in places as the actual author (Anthony Horowitz) narrates certain chapters talking about his work with the fictional detective and the case that he is writing about.


The murder mystery itself feels like a classic – there’s a small neighbourhood of 6 houses on a road with a locked gate. One of the neighbours, who has just moved in and has been annoying everyone in the community, has been found murdered. How do you solve a murder when everyone is a suspect? Without giving too much away, there is also a ‘locked room’ element to this case as well which was interesting. The murder mystery is the book that Horowitz is writing, and you felt very much in safe hands with it. The writing style is engaging, the characters are portrayed with a lot of detail, the clues are mixed in well and the setting is intriguing. The other part of the book, where the author is talking about the book, helps to keep tension high and breaks up the flow of the piece nicely to keep you engaged throughout.


The ending of the story is a little convoluted and complex but I did enjoy it. We didn’t really get to know Hawthorne much in this story, but I didn’t like the reference to a character having an ‘Oriental Brain’ which is used by him at one point. The ending sets up more intrigue about him which obviously doesn’t have as much of an impact if you haven’t read the rest of the series.


Overall, Close to Death is a well-written crime thriller which felt very much like a classic. Suitable to read as a standalone, but a great addition to the Hawthorne and Horowitz series. Thank you to NetGalley & Random House UK – Century and Cornerstone for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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