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The Sentence Is Death

Detective Daniel Hawthorne, Book 2
Narrated by: Rory Kinnear
Series: Detective Daniel Hawthorne, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Sentence Is Death by Anthony Horowitz.

Passion, deception, an unexplained death and a detective with quite a lot to hide lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz's brilliant new murder mystery, the second in the best-selling series starring private investigator Daniel Hawthorne.

William Pryce is an elegant, smooth-tongued lawyer who has made a fortune out of celebrity divorces - and a lot of enemies in the process. Unmarried himself, he lives in a handsome bachelor pad on the edge of Hampstead Heath. 

Or, rather, he used to....

When he is found murdered, the police confront the most baffling of mysteries: who was the visitor who came to Pryce's house moments before he died, arriving while he was still talking on the phone? 

“You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late....” were Pryce’s last recorded words, but what exactly do they mean? 

Why does his killer paint a three-digit number on the wall before leaving the crime scene? And why exactly was he bludgeoned to death with a bottle of wine - a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000 - when he didn't drink alcohol? 

The police are forced to hand the case to private investigator Daniel Hawthorne, who takes it on with characteristic relish. 

But Hawthorne himself has secrets to hide, and as our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case he realises that these are secrets that need to be exposed - even if it puts his own life in danger....

©2018 Anthony Horowitz (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Sentence Is Death

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Clever and humorous with two great main characters

I enjoyed this book as much as its predecessor. The plot was fine but the excellence came from the style and humour and the interplay with reality surrounding the Anthony Horowitz character.

1 person found this helpful

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Solid sequel

I do so love the meta nature of this series, that blurring of fiction and reality that makes it so different from much of the genre. An interesting story and I was thrilled to see Rory Kinnear back as the narrator as I had very much enjoyed his work on the first book. The narration can make or break an audio version of a novel, and Rory always sits firmly on the ‘make’ side for me.

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More detective Hawthorne please

Great story, really enjoyed it, following from the first book. Please keep Rory as the narrator, his accents are hilarious. Really looking forward to the next part of the series.

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Lacks newness

I really enjoyed Anthony‘s last book, the word is murder. This book by comparison is a disappointment. Although the story is different so much of it is like the previous book the word is murder. The narration for the most part was very good but the attempt at female voices was very poor. It would be good to use women women’s voices. I won’t be buying any more Anthony Horowitz.

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More please

Totally wonderful as I've learned to expect from Horowitz. Kinnear is fabulous (especially as Grunshaw)

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Very entertaining. Excellent narrator

Thoroughly enjoyed this second book. Written in such an interesting way with the author as a main character. Really enjoyed Rory Kinnears narration - humorous and very enjoyable.

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Another winner from a master storyteller.

With a background of several award-winning TV shows, a Sherlock Homes follow-on and a James Bond novel (amongst many other books) to his credit, Anthony Horowitz is truly a master storyteller and this book is no disappointment. The narrator perfectly matches the mood and personality of the story and the characters. Hawthorn and Horowitz have a unique relationship which imbues the tale with humour and realism that is maintained throughout. Can't wait for the next in the series...if there is one.

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One of the worst

This detective novel is a reasonably good story but the retelling of it with the faded character of the detective is as boring as hell. What a shame an author such as Anthony Horowitz has had to resort to such a style of writing to churn out books such as this.

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Total Joy!

These books are sheer indulgent pleasure. Brilliantly constructed, beautifully read. Can't wait for more Hawthorne!!!

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  • Mark
  • 17-04-2019

Anthony Horowitz is a top tier author in my librar

Anthony Horowitz is a top tier author in my library. This is another first class effort by Anthony Horowitz and well narrated by Rory Kinnear. The main characters are credible, sometimes humorous and the the stories are plausiblec and entertaining. I'm looking forward to the third in this series.

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  • Murder Mystery Thriller Fan
  • 08-11-2018

The Writing is On the Wall - GREAT NEW SERIES!

I bought "The Word Is Murder" because "Magpie Murders" is one of my favourite books ever and my favourite Audible purchase to date and I had almost forgotten about it when I spied "The Sentence is Death" and then it all came back to me about the curious detective Hawthorn and how Anthony Horowitz had written himself into the books so you can enjoy a slice of his fascinating writer's life working on TV series as well as books. It took me a little while to get up to speed again with the Horowitz/Hawthorn dynamic but soon I was in sleuthing heaven with many the well crafted twist and turn and red herrings galore - I especially loved the writing on the wall. Having the same narrator really helped continuity and I had to go back and add this mention of Rory Kinnear to my review as initially omitted - and in this case that is compliment rather than a slight, as simply he is Mr Horowitz's voice for me and it is a great credit to him that he manages to present himself as an intrinsic part of the story rather than an actor putting his artistic stamp on a book reading. This book which requires the narrator to "be" not only the protagonist but also a real, living person requires special talent and sensitivity and Mr Kinnear pulls this off with aplomb by making it all seem so natural, believable and seamless letting the story tell itself. I am sure I will now find Mr Horowitz totally unconvincing as "himself" should I ever hear his real voice! Overall,I got the feeling that this one perhaps was not quite as addictive as the first one (though I did really look forward to switching on every night and rattled through it at great speed, even bringing it with my for dishwasher loading and tea drinking which for me an unusual extension of my late night/early morning listening always in the bedroom!) ....but just as I was sighing and thinking "Hmmm, not really as good as the first" the plot took off again like a frisky horse on a frosty morning. I think I remember that writing tip being somewhere in this or the other book, always come in for a strong finish and save a twist for last and this was done in breathtaking style, leaving the listener/reader panting for the next adventure. I adore Murder Mysteries and this one, having such a prestigious pedigree, was just so well crafted like a polished gem - such a shame that Mr Horowitz excellent writing advice could not be given to the plethora of disappointing murder mysteries which somehow seem to be published these days with a wonderful premise who just fail to deliver or fall apart half way through and fizzle out at the end leaving the reader with a "why did I bother - what a waste of a credit" feeling. So whether this book is to your taste or not - it is stonkingly well written with so many fabulous twists and turns, super sneaky sleuthing, crafty clues and takes you along revealing, misleading, mystifying and illuminating with so much great panache, you feel that you too are part of the Detective Team. There is talk in the book of this series being a three book deal but I can only hope that this part is fiction in this unique and ingenious fact/fiction format and there will be many many more than three. I know Mr Horowitz is a busy, busy man with his finger in many creative pies but PLEASE hurry up and give us another murder mystery soon - a second "Magpie Murder" stand alone would be a dream come true - otherwise please don't make is wait too long for the promised third in this excellent, groundbreaking and most entertaining series, Happy, Happy, Happy Audible Customer - 6 stars!

26 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs M.
  • 05-11-2018

I love his books!

I was nearly put off by some of the other reviews, but had pre-ordered. I was not disappointed at all and found it a really easy listen. I'm looking forward to the next book already!

11 people found this helpful

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  • Claire
  • 07-03-2019

Perfect Partnership

...and by that I mean Rory Kinnear and these Detective Nathaniel Hawthorne stories - perfect! I only hope that if these ever get filmed he will be cast as Hawthorne: couldn't now be anyone else, for me. Excellent idea for Anthony Horowitz to put himself in the book; original, modern - and of course a great opportunity to alert readers to his other work!! Long may the series continue, so that we may learn more about Hawthorne, and have a new book series that's perfect to share around with others and discuss.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jack
  • 06-11-2018

Yet another fantastic Horowitz story

I am a massive fan of Horowitz’s work. I read the Alex Rider books when I was little and his more recent Sherlock Holmes books and other like Magpie Murders have been fantastic. I loved this book. Interesting story, well written and superbly narrated by Rory Kinnear. I would definitely recommend it and can’t wait till his next audiobook.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kim ALI
  • 20-11-2018

Importance of narrator

I can't tell you why, but this narrator put me off. The story is recounted in the first person and somehow he made the main character sound like someone I would definitely not like: whiny, wimpy, humourless. But maybe it's just me.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Happy Mum
  • 04-11-2018

Good story but ...

I enjoyed the story but, unfortunately, found the female voices put on by the narrator absolutely excruciating!

9 people found this helpful

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  • daisyrock
  • 27-09-2019

Brilliant storytelling, stellar narration

I love Anthony Horowitz's very meta detective fiction. I loved Magpie Murders and The Word is Murder and this lived up to those very high standards. Steeped in a love of Sherlock Holmes (with dashes of Agatha Christie), this is a true delight for lovers of whodunnits. I can't wait for the next outing of Hawthorne and Horowitz. A word on narrator Rory Kinnear - genius!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Susan
  • 10-11-2018

Female voices awful.....

A reasonable plot ruined by the narration. For some reason, Rory Kinnear decided to give females a high pitched screech or sheer soppiness. Why could he not just read the book instead of giving every single character a separate impression? If the author wanted this, why not have more than one narrator and include a female? Will be a long time before I read anything narrated by Rory Kinnear again. He even gave the author a terribly whiny voice, which hardly endeared the character to this listener. I listen to a lot of Audible books and I rarely write a review but this annoyed me enough to warn other listeners!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Chris01
  • 08-11-2018

Can’t wait for the next in this series

I really enjoyed this book just as much as the first novel. I particularly love the fact that A H includes himself as a character. My only issue was the narrator, I think on the whole Rory Kinnear is excellent but the voice he used for the female detective was awful, really grating. He turned her into a pantomime character, sorry not your best Rory

2 people found this helpful

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  • Duncan Anderson
  • 26-02-2020

Would have been 5 stars but for one silly voice.

Enjoyed the story and the reading was great apart from one particular voice which seemed almost comic. Having liked the first book in the series, after this one I am now waiting for Hawthorne's third appearance?!

1 person found this helpful