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Reviews for The twist of a knife

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

What’s worse than having an influential London critic skewer your latest play? Getting arrested for her murder, that’s what. Novelist/playwright Anthony Horowitz, who’s awfully hard to tell apart from his author, right down to the playful acknowledgments, is determined not to renew his collaboration with detective Daniel Hawthorne, who’s repeatedly upstaged him in their past investigations. Instead, he has high hopes for Mindgame, his latest theatrical thriller, which has consistently entertained audiences in the provinces. When the play opens in the West End, Sunday Times reviewer Harriet Throsby brings him crashing back to Earth by panning the play and everyone associated with it at length. The next day, the police are at Horowitz’s door to take him in for stabbing Throsby to death that morning. It’s true that all three performers in Mindgame—Lakota star Jordan Williams, rising Welsh hopeful Tirian Kirke, and punk ingenue Sky Palmer—had ample motive to kill Throsby. So did producer Ahmet Yurdakul and director Ewan Lloyd. But they didn’t leave behind the fingerprints or DNA that make Horowitz the obvious suspect, though he insists, “It’s critics who kill writers: never the other way round.” In order to beat the rap, he’ll require timely assistance from Kevin Chakraborty, the hacker downstairs, and of course from Hawthorne himself, who clearly revels in Horowitz’s dependence on him as he immerses his clinging, unwilling client in a deep dive into Throsby’s earlier writings, which provide even more motives for her murder. The real-life author, mostly eschewing the floridly inventive meta fireworks of his earlier tales, sticks more closely to his golden age models this time, producing an efficiently old-fashioned whodunit with all the surprises you'd expect. An expertly conventional puzzle. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.