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The inspiration behind the DI Andy Horton novel Lethal Waves

Pauline Rowson and Condor Commodore ClipperLocations often spark an idea for a new crime novel and while I am out walking the coastal paths of Portsmouth, the surrounding harbours and the Isle of Wight I'm always on the lookout for a good place to put a body!  The inspiration for Lethal Waves, Horton's thirteenth outing, came from seeing one of the regular ferry services sail from Portsmouth into the Solent and out around the Isle of Wight on its way to the Channel Islands, the Condor Commodore Clipper Ferry. 

I started with the idea of a body on that ferry, that of a woman who is found dead in her locked cabin when the ferry docks at Guernsey in the Channel Islands. I, of course, asked Condor for their permission in allowing me to have a fictitious body on their ferry and was delighted when they agreed and even more so when they offered to give me free reign of the boat and the opportunity to question their staff in aid of my research.

When the ferry docks in Guernsey Andy Horton is on the spot about to dine with his old friend, Inspector John Guilbert, who is mentioned in two of the Andy Horton crime novels, The Suffocating Sea and Fatal Catch.  Horton is there because he is on the trail of a fresh clue into his mother's disappearance, Jennifer Horton, over thirty years ago.  Guilbert gets called to view the body and he asks Horton to accompany him because the ferry had sailed from Horton's patch, Portsmouth, earlier that morning.  It looks to be natural causes or suicide.  It's not Horton's case.  He returns to Portsmouth after, disappointingly, the clue he was following up regarding Jennifer seems to be a dead end.

Horton is perplexed as to why the affluent and smartly dressed woman was travelling on the Condor ferry without luggage and had paid by cash.  But he gets little time to dwell on it because no sooner does he arrive back in Portsmouth when he is called out to investigate the death of a vagrant under one of the rotting houseboats close to the marina where he lives on board his small yacht. This clearly is murder.

I liked the contrast between the body on the commercial ferry and another under a rotting and stationary houseboat. I also liked the contrast between an affluent woman and a tramp.  But it's not as simple as that. (When is it?)  Appearances can be very deceptive.

Lethal Waves, an Inspector Andy Horton Mystery by Pauline RowsonLethal Waves is another multi-layered and complex investigation in the Andy Horton crime novels series.  It is set once again against the backdrop of the sea, my trademark or brand if you like to call it.  While Horton gets a step closer to discovering the truth behind Jennifer's disappearance he is also embroiled in an emotional case which demands all his intuition and skills to solve, uncovering dark secrets that have led to lethal waves of destruction.

Lethal Waves is published by Severn House. It is available from all good booksellers and for loan in public libraries.

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APRIL 7TH, 2017 @ 5:23:24 UTC

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