First look: Close to Death by Anthony Horowitz

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Close to Death US Hardback edition photographed red cover

Take a look at this! Close to Death, the fifth novel in Anthony Horowitz’s wonderful Hawthorne series, is due to go on sale on 16 April, and our friends at Harper Collins in the United States have sent us this beautiful hardback copy.

We love to celebrate sumptuous book design here at Crime Fiction Lover and this edition has everything you want in tactility. In a sense, it gives physical presence to the notion of death, with a crossbow bolt in silver foil down the centre of the cover. The dust jacket is textured like worn leather, but perhaps most satisfying is the deckled edges of the pages. Old school.

And if you’ve read any of the previous novels in the series, you’ll know that with the Hawthorne novels Anthony Horowitz has taken an innovative new approach to the traditional mystery genre. He himself is present in the stories – in the last one, The Twist of a Knife, he was the principal suspect – as he tells tales of how Daniel Hawthorne, his amazing friend, solves fiendishly tricky cases. Hawthorne is a former Metropolitan Police detective, while Horowitz is himself, a writer.

This time the case involves the arrival of a noisy family in a gated community on the River Thames in Richmond. Soon, one of them lies dead. For the first 70 or so pages of the book, neither Horowitz nor Hawthorne is present. You are introduced to a cast of eccentric characters, then Horowitz rolls in and the metafictional storytelling kicks in.

The series began with The Word is Murder in 2017, and in 2022 we reviewed The Twist of a Knife. We weren’t sure Hawthorne would return but here he is! Close to Death is so beautiful, and the series has such pedigree, that we couldn’t wait to share these images with you. It’s a pity we couldn’t bring you the smell of a freshly printed book too, but the internet has its limits. Have a look below and/or use our links to pre-order a copy.

Order from Amazon UK

Order from Amazon US

Close to Death US Hardback edition photographed red cover
Here are the deckled edges we were raving about.
Close to Death US Hardback edition photographed red cover
And that silver foil…
Close to Death US Hardback edition photographed internal pages
Close to Death US Hardback edition photographed internal map
There’s a helpful plan of the gated community in the opening pages.
Close to Death US Hardback edition photographed internal pages
Close to Death US Hardback edition photographed back cover
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