“I’m sorry but the answer’s no.” Reluctant author, Anthony Horowitz, has had enough. He tells ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne that after three books he’s splitting and their deal is over.
The truth is that Anthony has other things on his mind.
His new play, a thriller called Mindgame, is about to open at the Vaudeville Theater in London’s West End. Not surprisingly, Hawthorne declines a ticket to the opening night.
The play is panned by the critics. In particular, Sunday Times critic Margaret Throsby gives it a savage review, focusing particularly on the writing. The next day, Throsby is stabbed in the heart with an ornamental dagger which turns out to belong to Anthony, and has his fingerprints all over it.
Anthony is arrested by an old enemy . . . Detective Inspector Cara Grunshaw. She still carries a grudge from her failure to solve the case described in the second Hawthorne adventure, The Sentence is Death, and blames Anthony. Now she’s out for revenge.
Thrown into prison and fearing for both his personal future and his writing career, Anthony is the prime suspect in Throsby’s murder and when a second theatre critic is found to have died in mysterious circumstances, the net closes in. Ever more desperate, he realizes that only one man can help him.
But will Hawthorne take the call?