The Sentence is Death : A Book Review

The Sentence is Death“The Sentence is Death” by Anthony Horowitz is the 2nd book in the Detective Daniel Hawthorne Series. The first book in the series is “The Word Is Murder.” What makes this series so unique is how “meta”[1] it is. Horowitz places himself in the story as a writer who is following and working with a disgraced detective turned police consultant, Daniel Hawthorne. They don’t particularly get along. Horowitz spends a great deal of time trying to solve the mystery himself, while also trying to find out what Hawthorne is trying so hard to hide about his private life. These characters play off of one another perfectly.

The Sentence is Death is a well-crafted mystery.

Hawthorn and Horowitz are investigating two deaths—one is that of a divorce lawyer. This leaves plenty of possible suspects and motives. Several times I thought I had figured it out. In fact, at one point, I was confident I’d solved the case. How wrong I was! This was an incredibly satisfying mystery. I especially enjoyed all of the “real-life” details that Horowitz included in, “The Sentence is Death.” Such as issues with the script he was writing for “Foyle’s War” and conversations with his wife, Jill. They had me wondering where the line which separated truth and fiction blurred.

A Stand-Alone Book

“The Sentence is Death” is the first book in the series that I have read. I had no problems reading the series out of order, as it is a stand-alone book. I do intend on reading the first book and any future books in the series as well. This one was gripping and enjoyable, and thanks to being a “Foyle’s War” Fan, I know that Horowitz is a superb writer.

One of the things I enjoyed about this book was how unique the dialogue of each character was. And we were introduced to several interesting members of this cast. Perhaps my favorite was Lenny Pinkerman. Some of the characters cursed, which Horowitz ironically disdained. There was no sex and what little violence there was, wasn’t’ described graphically.

If you enjoy a good mystery, this one is for you! It is currently available for pre-order and will be released on May 28th, 2019.

I give “The Sentence is Death” 5 Stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

About Heather EricksonThe Ericksons

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at

The Memory Maker’s Journal 

Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer

Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer

I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.


[1]   Definition: a creative work referring to itself or to the conventions of its genre; self-referential.