I didn’t realize how in the mood I was for the vibes this series gives off. I read this book so fast. There’s something so strange yet so compelling about Horowitz’s fictional detective, Hawthorne, who continues to be unlikable, baffling (to us the readers, and to his “biographer,” a fictional version of Horowitz himself), contradictory, and yet he gets the job done, thwarting both reader’s desires and the fictional character Hawthorne in the process. It’s strange, but it works.
This third pairing of the duo takes place on Alderney island (like Guernsey, it was occupied by the NAZIs in WWII), where the inhabitants of the tiny island have inexplicably decided to hold a literary festival, and Horowitz and Hawthorne are invited. It’s a small festival, and Horowitz only agrees to attend as practice for bigger festivals after the first book is published. Hawthorne surprises him by agreeing to go very easily, and it turns out that a certain someone is living on the island in disgrace that Hawthorne is interested in running into.
Of course, while they are there, there is a murder. And as everyone on the island is very quick to tell the pair, there has never been a murder before on Alderney so it’s very big news.
I enjoyed the sequestered feeling being on the island gave, and the smaller cast of characters. But otherwise this was pretty similar to the other two books, so if you like those, you will like this one, too. The mystery itself was enjoyable because he threw so many red herrings in there. As the title may indicate, there is a veritable line of people that wanted to or would benefit from killing the guy who is murdered.
I am very interested to read #4 though, because Horowitz is shaking things up and having “himself” suspected and arrested for murder.