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On research with Hampshire Police Marine Unit

On board research with Hants. Police Marine Unit for DI Andy Horton novelsI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, one of the great things about being a crime writer is that you get to meet some very interesting people, go to some very unusual places and get to spend time with the Hampshire Police Marine Unit.

Readers know that all my crime novels are set on and around the sea.  It’s my trademark. The characters are locked in with the sea and the sea itself is a character.  I’ve been privileged to have been behind the scenes on the Condor Commodore Clipper Ferry (DI Andy Horton – Lethal Waves – to be published in February 2017) and on No Man’s Fort in the Solent, which features in DI Andy Horton 14 as does Rat Island in Portsmouth Harbour.

Heading across to Royal Clarence Marina on the police launchOn Wednesday 17 February I spent the morning on research with the wonderful Hampshire Police Marine Unit who I have a lot of admiration for.  They police one of the busiest stretches of water in Europe indeed in the World. And the marine unit features in my DI Andy Horton crime novelsFatal Catch, DI Andy Horton 12, is dedicated to Hampshire Police and the Marine Unit.

Police launch heading into Gunwharf QuaysDave, Billy, and Tim at the helm, met me and my husband (the photographer) at Gunwharf Quays on a chilly, dull but thankfully relatively calm morning.  Gunwharf Quays is renamed in the Horton novels to Oyster Quays, but it is here that Andy Horton is often met by Sergeant Dai Elkins and PC Phil Ripley of the fictional marine unit and taken out in the Solent or into the harbour on the police launch or RIB in the pursuit of solving a crime.

Heading up into Portsmouth HarbourWe travelled up Portsmouth Harbour so that I could see many of the locations already used in the Horton novels, namely the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the International Port, Fountain Lake, Tipner, and Rat Island or Burrow Island to give it its correct name which is one of the locations I am using in DI Andy Horton 14.

It was a fantastic morning. I gleaned so much from the guys and came away with my head spinning with so many more ideas for crime novels. Portsmouth Harbour and the adjoining harbours of Chichester and Langstone, the Solent, the Isle of Wight and Southampton Water make such a thrilling backdrop, it’s a vibrant diverse area with plenty of action for both of my heroes, Andy Horton and my former Royal Marine Commando, Art Marvik introduced in Silent Running and soon to make his second appearance in Dangerous Cargo, out on 31 May 2016 in the UK and 1 September in the USA. 

Marines on exerciseAnd as if to prove this here is what I saw while on board the police launch touring the Portsmouth Naval Base – marines, on exercise or are they? Now where’s Art Marvik?

Pauline Rowson with Hants. Marine Police on board Preventer Portsmouth HarbourMy thanks to the Hampshire Police Marine Unit and in particular to Dave, Billy and Tim.

You can follow the Hampshire Police Marine Unit on Twitter @HantspolMarine

You can also follow me on Twitter @PaulineRowson

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FEBRUARY 19TH, 2016 @ 7:49:17 GMT

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