“Our deal is over.” Reluctant author Anthony Horowitz has had enough. He tells ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne that after three books, he’s ending their collaboration.
The truth is that Anthony has other priorities. His new play, a thriller called Mindgame, is about to open at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End. Not surprisingly, Hawthorne declines a ticket to the opening night.
The play is panned by critics. In particular, Sunday Times critic Harriet Throsby gives it a savage review, focusing especially on the writing. The next day, she is stabbed in the heart with an ornamental dagger that 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 an earlier case, blaming 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 under mysterious circumstances, the net closes in. Ever more desperate, he realizes that only one man can help him.
But will Hawthorne take the call?