It is pleasing when a Publishing House contacts you to review a book. In this case Random House UK, Cornerstone to review Anthony Horowitz’s latest novel. You do feel some pressure to review positively! Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed.
James Bond it is not! It is a gentle mystery that plods along without really grabbing attention. It starts off quite encouragingly with an ex Publisher now resident in Crete running a hotel / guest house. It is struggling so when the chance to earn £10,000 presents itself the opportunity is grabbed by Susan.
Penguin promotes the novel with this introduction “So when an English couple come to visit with tales of a murder that took place in a hotel the same day their daughter Cecily was married there, Susan can’t help but find herself fascinated.
And when they tell her that Cecily has gone missing a few short hours after reading Atticus Pund Takes The Case, a crime novel Susan edited some years previously, Susan knows she must return to London to find out what has happened.
The clues to the murder and to Cecily’s disappearance must lie within the pages of this novel.”
Lucy Foley then goes onto describe it as ‘A beautiful puzzle: fiendishly clever and hugely entertaining. A masterpiece.’
Oh dear! Masterpiece is rather over the top! As soon as the plot transfers to the East Anglian countryside, the pace is pedestrian. Step by step Susan endlessly interviews family, hotel staff and other bit players often repeating the same story. As you would expect she starts to unravel the puzzle but so slow.
Typically if a book does not grab my attention quickly I will move onto another book. But as Anthony Horowitz has a reputation I plodded on. I finally gave up after reading 20%. Sorry but this was a disappointing novel.
Anthony Horowitz Bio:
His work for young adult readers includes The Diamond Brothers series, the Alex Rider series, and The Power of Five series (a.k.a. The Gatekeepers). His work for adults includes the play Mindgame (2001); two Sherlock Holmes novels, The House of Silk (2011) and Moriarty (2014); and three novels featuring his own detectives, Magpie Murders (2016), The Word Is Murder (2017), and The Sentence is Death (2018). He was also chosen to write James Bond novels by the Ian Fleming estate, starting with Trigger Mortis (2015).