The Sentence Is Death

A Novel
Narrated by: Rory Kinnear
Series: Detective Daniel Hawthorne, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,232 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Death, deception, and a detective with quite a lot to hide stalk Anthony Horowitz's brilliant murder mystery, the second in the best-selling series starring Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne.

“You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late....”

These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine - a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise. 

Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed? 

Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business. 

But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realizes that these secrets must be exposed - even at the risk of death....

©2019 Anthony Horowitz (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about The Sentence Is Death

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fairly intriguing story, BUT with nagging irritations

The initial part of the book felt very similar to the first in this series: a murder of suspicious circumstances, a writer in over his head and a detective of arrogant intelligence. So far, so good! However, I couldn’t recall the narrator having quite as annoying voices for many of the women in the first book, nor that the our main character was so completely incapable of standing up for himself. It was beyond irritating, and I had to put away the book several times and listen to something else in an attempt to soothe my frustration. 3 stars in addition to leaving me doubtful of whether I will be picking up any additional books in this series....

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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BE ADVISED...INSANITY & ANGER ENSUES

Loved the book, the plot, the author, and the narrator*. *There are two characters in the book that have some of the most annoying speech patterns I have ever been subjected to. When they have scenes together and are talking to each other the narration made me want to swerve my car into a bridge pylon (I live in a hands-free phone state, so I could not make it stop until I pulled over - at the time, a fiery death seemed like a better option than continuing on).

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Still a fan of Horowitz

This installment of the Detective Daniel Hawthorne series continued to captivate me until the very end. It twisted and turned to the point that I didn't have a clue who had done it til the end. Every time a credible explanation was given I was on-board --- until the next credible explanation. Loved it. The reason for the downgrade in stars is the narrator. He is very good with the male voices, but his female voices were horrible. Not just bad -- horrible and hard to listen to.

4 people found this helpful

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Good story; narration is both very good and very bad

I almost returned this book because of the narration. Most of it is very good - especially the two main characters. But I had to turn it off and switch to reading the library book on kindle when the female police officer and a couple of other supporting characters spoke. The officer’s voice was a shrill squawking that I just could not tolerate. Unfortunately there is a lot of her in this book.

4 people found this helpful

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hooked

loved the story and the narrator. such a great listen. Anthony kept the reader guessing till the last page.

4 people found this helpful

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Enough Hawthorn stories.

I have followed Anthony Horowitz throughout Holmes and Watson. Super entertaining and wonderful. I have now read both Hawthorn and Horowitz novels. Sentence Is Death was okay and somewhat disappointing. Can we get back to the exciting world of Holmes and Watson. The private life of tight lipped Hawthorn, has grown thin in interest. Two books are completed with this character. Time to move on!!

3 people found this helpful

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THE MYSTERY IS: WHY AREN'T YOU READING THIS?!

Full Disclosure: I am an avowed and very devoted fan of Anthony Horowitz's work so I knew I was going to love this book...but I really, really, really loved this book! This is the second of an upcoming quartet of mysteries featuring his detective Hawthorne, with Horowitz writing himself into the story as his sidekick (or, Watson, if you want to know the truth). I love the cross-pollination of Horowitz's life and career in these novels and I love the self-deprecating way he views himself (even though, in real life, he is an amazing writer). The story involves two deaths, both mysterious. Are they related? They seem to be...but then again... The narration by Rory Kinnear is top-notch (as it was in the first of this quartet, The Word is Murder). His voice is clear, he reads carefully. is easily understandable and distinguishes the characters well. The book is well-served by his performance. I love the wry humor that populates the novel, I love the way Horowitz shows us London, I love Hawthorne's understated brilliance and I love Horowitz as his sidekick. In other words: I love this book!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great mystery

I liked this book maybe more than the first one. Great narrator. And, I liked the story, especially the banter between Tony and Hawthorne.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent Book 2!!!

This Follow up in the Hawthorne Series did not disappoint. I had this in my wishlist for months when book 2 was announced. Rory Kinnear's performance was brilliant as ever. No one captures the uniqueness of each character as he does. The premise of this mystery was intriguing from the get go. What makes me enjoy these books is how effortlessly Mr. Horowitz intertwines his own real life into fiction. Hope Book 3 comes soon!!!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Even better than the first one

Horowitz is a fiendishly clever mystery writer. Books like "The Magpie Murders" were so clever that Horowitz himself almost seemed to be a character in the story, because his cleverness was so front and center all the time. I like to imagine that he just decided to go with that concept when he started writing the Daniel Hawthorne series, which features Horowitz himself -- or, I'd assume, a somewhat fictionalized version of him -- as a main character. These are very clearly Holmes homages (Holmages?), with Horowitz as Watson and Hawthorne as Holmes. He even says so explicitly in this one, but it's perfectly obvious, especially given Horowitz's obvious love of, and high regard for, the Holmes stories and novels. This is the second book in the Hawthorne series, and there's obviously going to be at least one more. (It says so in the actual text of both of the first two.) I fervently hope it's more than that. They're both thoroughly delightful: twisty, complex plots, completely satisfying resolutions, and as an added bonus, lots of reminiscences about the technicalities of working on "Foyle's War," which I suspect are probably pretty accurate. I was a huge Horowitz fan going into this series, and I'm an even bigger one now. (Though, to be honest, I can take "Foyle's War" or leave it; it's basically "Midsomer Murders" with older cars.) Rory Kinnear's narration is ALMOST universally brilliant. The one exception is the character of DCI Grundshaw. Male narrators often do women's voices by speaking in a softer tone, and that frequently works out fine; see, for example, Gildart Jackson's approach to the Serena Butler character in Peter Grainger's D.C. Smith books. Kinnear uses that technique sometimes, but unfortunately Grundshaw is a female character for whom a soft voice would be all wrong. So he takes a different approach, and I have to say it doesn't work very well; Grundshaw basically sounds like she's on the point of tears all the time. I'm not sure how I think Kinnear should have handled this; I do understand that it was a tough narration problem. But I found his Grundshaw voice annoying. Other than that, he's fabulous, one of my very favorite narrators on Audible. Hawthorne is described in the text as having an accent that's an odd combination of central London and Northern England, which is a difficult thing for anyone to pull off; Kinnear does it flawlessly.

1 person found this helpful