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Book Bites: 8 October 2017

Published in the Sunday Times

The Word is MurderThe Word is Murder
Anthony Horowitz, Century
**
Just when one thought that Sherlock Holmes (the one Benedict Cumberbatch embraced as his character in the TV series) was the most arrogant detective ever to grace popular culture, Horowitz introduces us to himself and Daniel Hawthorne – both insufferable men. Horowitz writes himself as a character in his own book, where he is called on by Hawthorne to help in a murder case. The murder to be solved is that of Diana Cowper, a wealthy woman who goes to a funeral parlour to plan her burial just hours before she is strangled. Hawthorne is brought in as the police need someone with his intelligence to solve the case. Hawthorne brings Horowitz in to write the book. It’s watery and self-indulgent, with Horowitz name-dropping celebrities like Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. The murder story, in the end, is irrelevant. – Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

The New GirlThe New Girl: A Trans Girl Tells It Like It Is
Rhyannon Styles, Headline
****
This bold autobiography relates the tremendous challenges that the writer undergoes in order to embrace life as a woman. She spares no details and is candid in this honest exposé of life behind the scenes in the world of theatre and the performing arts, a place where freedom of expression and individuality is the norm. The New Girl grabs one’s attention and provides a fascinating glimpse into both the inner and outer world of a transgender person. – Penny Swisa

House of SpiesHouse of Spies
Daniel Silva, HarperCollins
***
Gabriel Allon, the Israeli spy, is back for his 17th book. Co-ordinated terrorist attacks in London’s West End have left hundreds dead. The attacks have all the markings of Saladin, the ISIS mastermind. Clues to the case take Allon and his team to the south of France where they must infiltrate the enemy. A complex thriller brimming with details. – Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

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