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All aboard the Commodore Clipper for DI Andy Horton 13 research

condor commodore clipper Portsmouth PortiOne of the nicest things about being a crime writer is that I get to meet some really interesting people, who do fascinating jobs. On Monday 26 October 2015 courtesy of Condor Ferries I paid a research visit to the Condor Commodore Clipper, which features in the DI Andy Horton crime novel, number 13, Lethal Waves, to be published in the UK on 28 February 2017 and in the USA on the 1 June 2017.

My visit was to check out my facts for that DI Andy Horton novel, and I am extremely grateful to the Condor team who were incredibly helpful and generous with their time and for their patience in allowing me to badger them with questions. It was also fantastic to see over one of my favourite ships which I watch regularly sailing in and out of Portsmouth - DI Andy Horton's patch.

In DI Andy Horton 13 Lethal Waves, Horton is on the island of Guernsey eighty miles south of Portsmouth, part of the Channel Islands, following up a lead that he hopes will help him discover the truth behind his mother's disappearance just over thirty years ago when he was ten years old. He is to dine that evening with his friend, Inspector John Guilbert of the States of Guernsey Police, when something unexpected turns up.

‘Sorry, Andy I’m going to have cry off tonight. We’ve got a death on the Commodore Clipper ferry.’
‘On the face of it no, but––’
‘You can’t take any chances.’
‘Do you want to come? I know you’re not here officially, this not being your patch,’ Inspector John Guilbert hastily added. ‘But it’s on the sailing from Portsmouth this morning.’
And that was Horton's patch.

Here is a taste of what is to come and how the Condor Ferry team helped walk and talk me through the research! (Click on the images to enlarge them).

Arriving at Portsmouth International PortEarly morning, January, a woman arrives at the Portsmouth International Port

Buying a ticket for the Commodore ClipperShe buys a single ticket, with cash, to Guernsey at the Condor Ferries desk. She is travelling as a foot passenger and has hand luggage only, a handbag.

Requesting a cabin from the cabin management team on board the Commodore ClipperOn board the ferry she asks the Cabin Management team at the Information Desk for a double superior en suite cabin. Again she pays by cash. She goes straight to her cabin and locks the door.

Superior ensuite cabin Commodore Clipper ferry to Channel Islands from PortsmouthWhen the ferry docks in Guernsey just after four p.m. there is no sign of her. She hasn't shown up to board the minibus to take her to the terminal, what's more her cabin is still locked. The deputy cabin manager enters it using a pass key and finds, lying between the cabin beds, the body of Evelyn Lyster. (We didn't go as far as to enact this you'll be pleased to know!)

On the Bridge of the Commodore Clipper from Portsmouth to GuernseyThe Captain is informed and the States of Guernsey Police are called in. Inspector John Guilbert, along with DI Andy Horton, board the Commodore Clipper.

Some facts about Condor Ferries

Commodore Clipper by Chris George

Condor Ferries was founded in 1964 and initially operated a passenger service between France and the Channel Islands. In 1987 the first service linking the Channel Islands with the UK was launched and since then Condor Ferries has operated a year-round service connecting the UK, Guernsey and Jersey and the ports of St Malo and Cherbourg in France.

In March 2015, Condor Ferries introduced a new addition to its fleet - Condor Liberation which serves Guernsey and Jersey from its UK base of Poole. Each year Condor Ferries carries more than 1 million passengers and 200,000 passenger vehicles. Condor Ferries Commodore Goodwill, freight only vessel carries 100,000 freight vehicles into the Channel Islands each year as well as exporting tonnes of local produce.

I would like to express my sincere and warm thanks to Condor Ferries for allowing me to feature them in my crime novel and for all their help. It was a superb visit.

Lethal Waves, Inspector Andy Horton (13)

On his return from Guernsey, Horton is called out to investigate the death of a vagrant whose body is found under a rotting houseboat on the shores of Portsmouth.

"Nothing in this police procedural is as it first appears. The Harley Davidson-riding, boat-dwelling Horton is a fascinating man to get to know, and his thoughtful approach to detection is a pleasure to read." Publishers Weekly

"This heart-breaking story of ambition, greed, jealousy, and revenge makes a good choice for fans of no-nonsense British procedurals." Booklist

Available in paperback, ebook, on Kobo and Amazon Kindle.

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OCTOBER 29TH, 2015 @ 5:47:08 GMT

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