[Skip to Content]
Latest Books  »   Crime novels, mysteries,thrillers  »   Pauline Rowson  »   News  »   Blog  »   Subscribe   »   BUY  »   Talks  »   Contact  »   Rights

Pauline Rowson explains why she sets her crime novels against the backdrop of the sea

Sailing into Portsmouth HarbourThe sea has always held a fascination for me, probably because I was raised in the coastal city of Portsmouth with its vibrant waterfront, its great contrasts of modern and historic, its diverse multicultural population, its thriving international port -with cargo ships, containers, ferries and cruise liners - its historic dockyard, the fishing fleet and the home of the Royal Navy.  Portsmouth Harbour is one of the busiest in the World and the Solent offers up every kind of sailing vessel you could wish for from giant container ships to ferries, naval ships to leisure craft, fishing boats and even a regular hovercraft service. Once the sea is in your blood it never leaves you and it seemed only natural for me to turn to it for inspiration for my crime novels.

Crossing Portsmuoth Harbour on the Gosport ferry The great variety of locations provides diversity of scenes within a novel.  Horton can be on a stony or sandy beach, at an expensive marina or a rotting boatyard. He can be boarding the police launch at the waterfront, or at the international port, or anywhere along the coast line, crossing the Solent on this with Sergeant Dai Elkins and PC Phil Ripley of the marine unit, or crossing on the Wightlink ferry or the hovercraft from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight.

Silent Running the first in the Art Marvik marine thriller series by Pauline Rowson While Andy Horton’s patch is Portsmouth, its immediate surrounding area and the Isle of Wight, and he sails and lives on board a yacht, Art Marvik, my new hero in the new marine crime thriller series,  chooses to travel by a powerful motor cruiser and his adventures take him further afield to Southampton, to the bays and marinas of the west country coastline and to the south east coast to Littlehampton, Eastbourne and Brighton.

Newly discharged from the Royal Marines following injuries inflicted in combat, Marvik is struggling to find his way in Civvy Street until he is enlisted to work undercover for the UK's National Marine Intelligence Squad (NIMS).  His first mission In Silent Running, finds him being used as bait to catch a ruthless killer whose slaying spree spans the decades, while his second mission in Dangerous Cargo uncovers a trail of deceit, corruption and murder that spans over half a century.

Fareham Quay setting used in DI Andy Horton, Fatal Catch DI Andy Horton lives on board his small yacht in Southsea Marina.  He's a man rarely at peace, unless he is on the sea, or catching criminals. Abandoned by his mother as a child he's been raised in children's homes on the rough streets of Portsmouth. Andy is filled with a desperate need to belong and yet finds himself always on the outside, rejection is his biggest fear but because of his past he can never quite trust.

Booklist USA say of Horton "'Andy Horton is an especially good series hero, a likeable fellow with plenty of street smarts and the requisite personal baggage – an abrasive supervisor and an antagonistic soon-to-be ex-wife. Procedural fans who haven’t already read Rowson should be encouraged to do so in the strongest possible terms." 

Fatal Catch, DI Andy Horton Mystery by Pauline RowsonIn the latest in the Horton series, Fatal Catch, (number 12), two fishermen haul a gruesome catch – a human severed hand. Who does it belong to and where is the rest of the body? Is the hand that of missing criminal Alfie Wright?

DI Andy Horton is determined to get to the bottom of the case, but the deeper he digs, the more lies and secrets he uncovers. Soon he finds himself immersed in a complex case where everyone has a reason to lie and no one is who they seem. Assailed by doubts both in his personal and professional life, Horton desperately tries to keep his emotional feelings under control and his focus on his work. His instincts tell him to trust no one and believe nothing; he’s not sure though whether this time he’ll succeed.

Thorney Channel, Chichester Harbour, DI Andy Horton, Fatal CatchHorton's investigations in Fatal Catch take him to Fareham Quay in the upper reaches of Portsmouth Harbour and to the tranquil reaches of Chichester Harbour to Thorney Island. 

Setting the crimes against the ever-changing sea poses problems for the detective.  Every known murder scene has a detective combing for clues.  Every detective has a prime enemy - and it's not always the criminal.  For the detective, the first enemy is often the crime scene itself.  It is here that the battle begins to uncover the grim truth about the murder.  And a detective's 'nightmare crime scene' has got to be a place where all the best clues could be swept away by the tide. There couldn't be a better place to set a crime story or perhaps a worse depending on your viewpoint. For me though it’s the former with all its challenges, and who better to rise to them and solve the crimes than my flawed and rugged hero, DI Andy Horton.

Fatal Catch, is published by Severn House and is available from all good bookshops, from Amazon and other on line book retailers.  It is also available for loan in libraries in the UK, USA and the Commonwealth.

Pauline Rowson is the author of the DI Andy Horton series of police procedural crime novels and of the new marine crime series featuring former Royal Marine Commando, Art Marvik as well as standalone thrillers, In Cold Daylight and In For The Kill. Silent Running is published by Severn House and is available in hardcover, papeback and as an e book. Dangerous Cargo, the second in the Art Marvik series, is published in hardcover on 31 May 2016.

Subscribe to Pauline's newsletter.

You can also follow PaulineRowson on Twitter and Likethe DI Andy Horton Facebook Page.

Like on Facebook  Tweet on Twitter  Share on Linkedin  Pin It on Pinterest 


OCTOBER 8TH, 2015 @ 8:38:09 BST


RE: Pauline Rowson explains why she sets her crime novels against the backdrop of the sea

I can see why this area helps inspire your writing. Lots going on, plenty of contrasts and possibilities.


RE: Pauline Rowson explains why she sets her crime novels against the backdrop of the sea

Having listened to you chatting to Julian Clegg on Radio Solent over the last few years I decided to begin reading your books. I`m now on the 3rd one of the Andy Horton Series. I`m really loving them.


RE: Pauline Rowson explains why she sets her crime novels against the backdrop of the sea

Glad you are enjoying the novels, Janice. Many thanks for your feedback and also thanks to you, Patsy for your comment.


Leave Comment

  V K G Y U F
Location:  Home   »  Blog