THE USUAL SUS­PECTS

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for­mer po­lice de­tec­tive. Horowitz, the char­ac­ter and nar­ra­tor, en­ters the frame, too. What hap­pens next forms the rest of the story, which is an ‘un­put­down­able’ read meant to be de­voured in one long sit­ting.

The Sen­tence is Death may be the sec­ond novel in the se­ries, but even if the reader hasn’t read the pre­vi­ous book, they can read this as a stan­dalone novel. Horowitz’s de­tec­tive is an in­ter­est­ing man to know, and so is the au­thor as he ap­pears in the pages of the novel. Some other char­ac­ters also catch our at­ten­tion, which as ex­pected, also in­clude the sus­pects and po­lice of­fi­cers. Talk­ing about the struc­ture of his mys­tery nov­els,

Horowitz once told the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald, “'Think of a dart­board with a bulls­eye at its cen­tre…'There is a crime, a mur­der, steal­ing or maybe a stab­bing, that's your bulls-eye, rather small, and then you place the vic­tim, the fam­ily and the friends in con­cen­tric rings.”

The Sen­tence is Death is a de­par­ture from that pat­tern. Writ­ten in his sig­na­ture en­gag­ing prose, it is a lot more im­pres­sive than its pre­de­ces­sor. Read it on a hol­i­day. You won’t re­gret it.

The episode of the mur­der slowly but surely leads into a labyrinth of in­trigue and de­ceit

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