Your Breath In My Ear
This is my first Anthony Horowitz book and what a peculiar little tome it is. The perspective is skewed in a way that is fresh to this reader and I have to grudgingly admit I think it was this very quirkiness that appealed so much to me. The murder mystery itself is actually quite pedestrian and follows the usual tried and tested pathways of the genre - all very Agatha Christie and VERY Arthur Conan Doyle. The fact is that whilst this is ostensibly a book about a murder and the subsequent investigation, really it is a book about people and perceptions.
The quirkiness comes from the fact that the the author inserts himself in to the tale, not by virtue of writing (goodness knows there are a LOT of writers who do that) but actually a living and breathing character in the book. In fact, the narrator of the book is the author - well a semi-fictionalised version of the author; with enough knowing nods to his real life to make the lines between fact and fiction decidedly blurred. Somehow what should be an egotistical action works in Mr Horowitz's hands and sucks you right in to the tale. Although that may have more to do with the glorious Daniel Hawthorne than anything else.
I knew nothing of the author before setting out on this particular book and my first reaction was this was Holmes and Watson updated for the 21st Century, all it was missing was an opium addiction and a violin. To then find out that he has written 2 Sherlock Holmes novels and then for the similarity to be openly acknowledged several times in the text it made me feel like I was in "on the joke" from the beginning. Strangely there is a lot of humour to be found in this book, of a generally black and rather bleak nature but it is there.
I will admit to being captivated by this book and thoroughly enjoying every red herring - although I did call the reason behind the murder of the divorce lawyer I had not figured out whodunnit. In fact about halfway through I stopped trying to figure it all out and just enjoyed the book for what it is and gloried in the anti-social Hawthorne. So much so I bought the first book before I finished this one and have been desperate to start it but didn't want to get the storylines confused - the good news is I can start it as soon as I want now.
The murder mystery itself is well constructed and you can feel Tony's frustration throughout because he always feels at least two steps behind the erstwhile ex-Inspector. The cast of characters are quite varied and although we never really explore any particular character in depth there is a feeling that you know them warts and all. In short a thoroughly good old-fashioned tale that sweeps you up and keeps you turning the pages.
THIS IS AN HONEST AND UNBIASED REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK RECEIVED VIA THE PIGEONHOLE