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'DI Andy Horton is an enigma, reliable but sometimes unreachable, a little lost, but knows what he wants! My fav. kind of DI.’

Deadly Waters - DI Andy Horton 2 - on special Kindle offer for June onlyThat's how one reader recently described DI Andy Horton on twitter who is featured in eleven crime novels.  It's a great description and sums him up perfectly. To me and to many of my readers, DI Andy Horton is, of course, a hero. But not a perfect one, far from it. Who is?

Heroes have always fascinated me. It probably stems from reading so many thrillers and spy novels as a child. Then I married a hero, well he is to me, a former RAF Police Officer and Hampshire Fire-Fighter from Red Watch, Portsmouth, UK, who took many risks and saved many lives. It’s no wonder then that I turned to writing about a hero.

DI Andy Horton has also been described as 'an especially good series hero, a likeable fellow with plenty of street smarts and the requisite personal baggage - an abrasive supervisor  and anantagonistic soon to be ex-wife.' Booklist (USA).

Heroes have to have flaws, after all they are human. DI Andy Horton is rugged, a maverick cop who hates paperwork and playing by the book which of course gets him into trouble with his superiors, particularly the ice maiden, DCI Lorraine Bliss, his boss in Portsmouth CID.

Horton is prepared to take risks and is fearless in his search for justice. He's been raised in children’s homes after his mother abandoned him as a child, which means he has a desperate need to belong, a need that is in some way satisfied by belonging to the family of the police and yet he continually finds himself on the outside.  His experiences as a child have taught him never to trust and never to confide. He lives alone on his boat and rides a Harley Davidson.

Shroud of Evil - DI Andy Horton 11, by Pauline RowsonAnd who would I get to play DI Andy Horton in the movies if I had casting clout? Every reader sees the character differently so casting the perfect hero is difficult, no it’s impossible. I wouldn’t know where to begin – except that Jason Statham’s name did come up when a producer was keen to develop the series for American television. Statham’s agent was duly approached but Statham had just been signed for another series. Sigh.

So who are my heroes apart from my husband, my characters and many of those who serve their country in the armed forces, the police and emergency services? I'll turn to another form of fiction, that of film.

On the wall  in my office above my desk are photographs of four men. They look down on me as I write my crime novels and provide me with inspiration. Two of them are dead and the other two not the right age to play DI Andy Horton in the movies or a series but they all have one thing in common not only with each other but with Andy Horton – they have all played heroes.

They are, in no particular order of preference:

Humphrey Bogart – think Frank McCloud in Key Largo, Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep, Rick Leland in Across the Pacific;

Cary Grant – think Roger O. Thornhill in North By Northwest; Johnnie in Suspicion;

Harrison Ford –think Indiana Jones, Dr Richard Walker in Frantic, Dr Richard Kimble in The Fugitive, John Book in Witness.

And then there’s Roger Moore, my favourite James Bond and before that the enigmatic Saint.

None of these men look like DI Andy Horton (not to me anyway) but they have all played heroes and as I pen another crime novel they, and the characters they have brought to life on screen, inspire me and spur me ever onwards.

Deadly Waters, a DI Andy Horton crime novel by Pauline Rowson

Deadly Waters, on special Kindle promotion for June

£1.99 (UK) $3.34 (USA)

The second in the series, set in the Solent on the South Coast of England featuring the flawed and rugged Portsmouth Cop, DI Andy Horton.

Ambition, adultery, murder... DI Andy Horton has a week to find a killer...

Buy Now (UK)

Buy Now (USA) 

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JUNE 9TH, 2014 @ 14:33:02 BST

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