#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2022
My day thirteen #Bookvent selection is from a series that I discovered late on but adored straight away. A brilliantly witty metafiction in which the author, as narrator, guides readers through the life and times of a real life Private Detective, this particular book takes a very strange turn as narrator becomes suspect. Needing all of his wits to stay one step ahed of the law, as well as more than a little help from his friends, this book ticked all of my must read boxes. My day thirteen pick is …
The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz
‘Our deal is over.’
That’s what reluctant author Anthony Horowitz tells ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne in an awkward meeting. The truth is that Anthony has other things on his mind.
His new play, Mindgame, is about to open in London’s Vaudeville theatre. Not surprisingly Hawthorne declines a ticket.
On opening night, Sunday Times critic Harriet Throsby gives the play a savage review, focusing particularly on the writing. The next morning she is found dead, stabbed in the heart with an ornamental dagger which, it turns out, belongs to Anthony and which has his finger prints all over it.
Anthony is arrested, charged with Throsby’s murder, thrown into prison and interrogated.
Alone and increasingly desperate, he realises only one man can help him.
But will Hawthorne take his call?
As I said in my original review, I love these books. They are the ultimate treat, a deliciously twisty dose of metafiction. Utterly entertaining from start to finish, you can hear the author’s voice come through in the narrative, a self-deprecating manner which is both endearing and totally hilarious. The way in which Anthony Horowitz has shaped these stories, with his fictional detective, Daniel Hawthorne, running rings around him, a kind of Sherlock to Horowitz’s still intelligent but less quick witted Watson, makes them such a joy to read. This book sees Horowitz become the number one suspect in a murder, when a critic who savaged the West End debut of his play, Mindgame, is found dead in their home, murdered with a gift that belonged to the author. It’s hard to know exactly where truth ends and fiction begins because Mindgame is actually a play that was written by Anthony Horowitz, and whilst some of the facts then clearly bend and meld into fiction, it adds that beautiful authenticity to the tale. One of the real wonders of this series is the relationship between Hawthorne and Horowitz. There is a strange distance between then (driven by Hawthorne in the main) that belies how well they work together. Or how well Hawthorne dances around Horowitz, always managing to stay three steps head of the beat whilst still looking like he’s dancing a perfectly steady foxtrot. We know that Horowitz is innocent, but how in the hell will he prove that to the Police? Well … that can only be answered by reading the book.
I love the humour, love the story and love how the author is so willing to make himself appear far more foolish than he can ever possibly be. After all, to be this adept at plotting and to create such a wonderfully entertaining and puzzling mystery, one that engages and enthralls, takes more than a small amount of creative genius. Loved it.
You can read my full review here.
Happy #bookvent reading all