Book Review – The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

TWIMTitle: The Word Is Murder

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Publisher: Century

Publication Date: 24th August 2017

Format: eBook ARC

Note: This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review

About the book:

A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she’s arranged her own funeral.

A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own.

A reluctant author drawn into a story he can’t control.

What do they have in common?

Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s page-turning new thriller. 


What I Thought:

The House Of Silk was my introduction to Anthony Horowitz as an author, I vaguely knew him as a YA author, although I’ve not read any of the Alex Rider books, I was also aware of his work as a screenwriter, having watched Foyle’s War with my parents. When I discovered Anthony has been chosen to officially continue the stories of on of my favourite literary characters, Sherlock Holmes, I just had to pick up the book and I wasn’t disappointed. I also loved Moriarty, and then last year I read the first completely original story I’d picked up by Anthony, Magpie Murder. I really enjoyed it, and for me it was something different, a book within a book, and for me it worked incredibly well. With The Word Is Murder Anthony Horowitz has done it again, written something novel, slightly bizarre but for me it worked amazingly!

The Word Is Murder is written in the first person from the point of view of Anthony himself – Yep that’s right, the author is one of the main characters in his own book! I know for some people first person narration is a big no no but I would urge them to give The Word Is Murder a go regardless!

The Word Is Murder sees Anthony approached by Hawthorne, someone who had been employed by the production team as an adviser on one of Anthony’s TV shows, who also works as a consultant for the Met Police, Hawthorne has found an interesting case and he thinks Anthony should write a book about it, just one slight issue, he’s only just started working the case, currently the book has no ending! Drawn in by the case, a woman who arranges her own funeral before being murdered just hours later, and put out by a woman at the Hay Festival who tells him his books are irrelevant he decides he will write the book after all. The Word Is Murder covers the period of time as Anthony follows Hawthorne around London and the South East. I’ll say no more on the plot.

So what did I like? I actually kind of liked Hawthorne, despite the frequent mentions by Anthony that he doesn’t particularly like him. Hawthorne isn’t necessarily the most likeable character, we view him through Anthony’s eyes and he doesn’t know that much about him personally, even if he does try fishing for more information. He’s certainly not perfect, he’s homophobic, but still manages to come across as a realistic character, you definitely get hints of Sherlock Holmes coming through in his character, his observational skills, and the deductions he makes, also he’s a consulting detective for the Met!

I also really loved the overall premise, for the second time Anthony has mixed up the traditional detective story and for me it’s another hit! It’s fiction but I kept wondering throughout the novel aside from the main plot line how many of the additional anecdotes were true, did Anthony really work on a script for a potential Tintin sequel? Was there really a woman at the Hay Literary Festival who told him as his books didn’t involve real people they were irrelevant?

The only thing that disappointed me slightly is I don’t see how this could be continued which is a shame as I could easily have read more Hawthorne investigates!

Would I Recommend?

I’d definitely recommend this book to any crime fiction fan, it won’t work for everyone, some won’t like the first person, some might struggle to get past the fact the author is a main character within his own book, but if they don’t bother you I think you’ll love it!

4.5 Stars

Want To Buy It?

Amazon UK Amazon US Waterstones The Book Depository

Have you read The Word Is Murder? Or has this review made you want to pick it up? Let me know in the comments!


8 thoughts on “Book Review – The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

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