Close to Death (Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery #5)

Close to Death (Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery #5)

by Anthony Horowitz

Narrated by Anthony Horowitz, Rory Kinnear

Unabridged — 9 hours, 12 minutes

Close to Death (Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery #5)

Close to Death (Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery #5)

by Anthony Horowitz

Narrated by Anthony Horowitz, Rory Kinnear

Unabridged — 9 hours, 12 minutes

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Notes From Your Bookseller

We love puzzling through a mystery where everyone's a suspect, and this wildly clever story — an ode to the locked-room trope (on a slightly grander scale) doesn't disappoint.

In New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz's ingenious fifth literary whodunnit in the Hawthorne and Horowitz series, Detective Hawthorne is once again called upon to solve an unsolvable case-a gruesome murder in an idyllic gated community in which suspects abound.

Riverside Close is a picture-perfect community. The six exclusive and attractive houses are tucked far away from the noise and grime of city life, allowing the residents to enjoy beautiful gardens, pleasant birdsong, and tranquility from behind the security of a locked gate.

It is the perfect idyll, until the Kentworthy family arrives, with their four giant, gas-guzzling cars, gaggle of shrieking children, and plans for a garish swimming pool in the backyard. Obvious outsiders, the Kentworthys do not belong in Riverside Close, and quickly offend every last one of the neighbors.

When Giles Kentworthy is found dead on his own doorstep, a crossbow bolt sticking out of his chest, Detective Hawthorne is the only investigator they can call to solve the case.

Because how do you solve a murder when everyone is a suspect?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


In the intriguing if uneven fifth installment of Horowitz’s Hawthorne and Horowitz series (after The Twist of a Knife), the author again blends mystery and metafiction to examine a murder in an exclusive London cul-de-sac. After the obnoxious Giles Kenworthy is slain with a crossbow in his home among the ritzy mansions of Riverview Close, police detective Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, John Dudley, jump on the case. At first, owing to Kenworthy’s lack of popularity among his neighbors, Hawthorne and Dudley float the idea that it was a collaborative killing in the tradition of Murder on the Orient Express. Then one of their key suspects dies in an apparent suicide, and the case shifts into locked-room mystery territory, with a single killer likely picking off Riverview Close peers one by one. Horowitz again inserts himself in the narrative, working with Hawthorne to turn the case into a proper novel, but he writes much of this volume in third person, turning to his own voice only occasionally to comment on genre conventions or tease the mystery’s conclusion. The result is a narrative of frames within frames that gradually loses entertainment value as a fair play mystery and ultimately slips into something far more jumbled. There’s plenty of ambition on display, but this isn’t up to series standards. Agent: Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown. (Apr.)

From the Publisher

"If 'witty,' 'page-turning' and 'clever' sound like something you'd like to see in a mystery, it might be the one for you.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune

"An absolutely engrossing tale . . . written with the abundance of whimsy and dark humor that seems to permeate nearly everything that Horowitz creates. Kudos to anyone who can figure this one out!" — Booklist (starred review)

“What begins as a decorous whodunit set in a gated community on the River Thames turns out to be another metafictional romp for mystery writer Anthony Horowitz and his frequent collaborator, ex–DI Daniel Hawthorne. . . .Gloriously artificial, improbable, and ingenious. Fans . . . will rejoice.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Ingenious metafiction fun from a master." — Library Journal

"Anthony Horowitz has devised his own twisted tale and turns the closed-circle mystery inside out." — New York Journal of Books

"'Close to Death,' like its series predecessors, is an exceedingly entertaining and inventive mixture of humor and suspense. . . . Long may this duo endure.” — Wall Street Journal

“It’ll keep you guessing until the very last page.” — Town & Country

“A delirious concoction that transplants a Christie-style mystery into the present.’’ — Financial Times

“Intriguing . . . there’s plenty of ambition on display.” — Publishers Weekly

“A deliciously twisty mystery.”

"A perfect mystery for spring!" — CrimeReads

"What a devilishly clever novel we have here.” — Dayton Daily News

“A gripping whodunit with a perfect setting turned deadly.” — BiblioLifestyle

Close to Death unfolds like a typically delightful Hawthorne-and-Horowitz adventure—amusing, absorbing, slightly more straightforward than its predecessors. But nothing in this series is ever truly simple . . . Horowitz has a few extra tricks up his sleeve that will provide plenty of Christie-esque stimulation for readers who relish a challenge.” — Air Mail

“A corking pip of a book. On your marks, get set, don't miss this.” — Book Reviews by David Marshall James

Library Journal


There's more than one mystery in Horowitz's uproarious fifth Detective Hawthorne novel (after The Twist of a Knife). The first mystery: Who killed Giles Kenworthy, an unpleasant hedge fund manager who ran roughshod over the tranquility of a cushy cul-de-sac London neighborhood? The manner of death was gruesome: Kenworthy was shot in the throat with a cross bow. Every resident of the gated community, from the chess master to the "dentist to the stars" to the two widows who suspected Kenworthy of dogicide, is a suspect. The police call in ex-DI Daniel Hawthorne to help. Hawthorne is the second mystery. Author Horowitz, who inserts himself in the story and alternates between first- and third-person narration, is fascinated with the elusive, evasive detective, with whom he's worked on several cases. In alternating chapters, Hawthorne and his equally mysterious partner, John Dudley, sift through the evidence; five years after the murder, Horowitz, fed the investigation in dribs and drabs by Hawthorne, attempts to make a book out of the case. Along the way, Horowitz comments on locked-room mysteries, makes a few crime fiction recommendations, and misses some vital clues. VERDICT Ingenious metafiction fun from a master.—Liz French

APRIL 2024 - AudioFile

Rory Kinnear's performance of the fifth Hawthorne and Horowitz mystery is "something of a masterclass," says author Anthony Horowitz in a recorded postscript that praises Kinnear's flair and fluency. Indeed, Kinnear's voice--rich and resonant, with precise articulation--is one of the many pleasures in this outing of the comical, ill-matched pair as they investigate which neighbor hated Giles Kentworthy enough to kill him--with a crossbow, no less. Kinnear's real-life pacing creates fly-on-the-wall verisimilitude. He also delights in vocal characterizations and British class distinctions that enliven the audio experience. Be it a middle-class bookseller whose accent occasionally slips or a suspect whose screechy tone diminishes as their life improves, they're all evocatively real. Hawthorne remains mysteriously deadpan; Horowitz sometimes whines. It's all grand. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2024, Portland, Maine

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2024-01-20
What begins as a decorous whodunit set in a gated community on the River Thames turns out to be another metafictional romp for mystery writer Anthony Horowitz and his frequent collaborator, ex-DI Daniel Hawthorne.

Everyone in Riverview Close hates Giles Kenworthy, an entitled hedge fund manager who bought Riverview Lodge from chess grandmaster Adam Strauss when the failure of Adam’s chess-themed TV show forced him and his wife, Teri, to downsize to The Stables at the opposite end of the development. So the surprise when Kenworthy’s wife, retired air hostess Lynda, returns home from an evening out with her French teacher, Jean-François, to find her husband’s dead body is mainly restricted to the manner of his death: He’s been shot through the throat with an arrow. Suspects include—and seem to be limited to—Richmond GP Dr. Tom Beresford and his wife, jewelry designer Gemma; widowed ex-nuns May Winslow and Phyllis Moore; and retired barrister Andrew Pennington, whose name is one of many nods to Agatha Christie. Detective Superintendent Tariq Khan, feeling outside his element, calls in Hawthorne and his old friend John Dudley as consultants, and eventually the case is marked as solved. Five years later, Horowitz, needing to plot and write a new novel on short notice, asks Hawthorne if he can supply enough information about the case to serve as its basis, launching another prickly collaboration in which Hawthorne conceals as much as he reveals. To say more, as usual with this ultrabrainy series, would spoil the string of surprises the real-life author has planted like so many explosive devices.

Gloriously artificial, improbable, and ingenious. Fans of both versions of Horowitz will rejoice.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159912244
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 04/16/2024
Series: Hawthorne and Horowitz Series , #5
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 331,926
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