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A hero with real problems is the key to creating a good crime series

Footsteps on the Shore an Inspector Andy Horton crime novelInspector Andy Horton has been described as 'an especially good series hero, a likeable fellow with plenty of street smarts and the requisite personal baggage - an abrasive supervisor (DCI Lorraine Bliss) and an antagonistic soon to be ex wife.' Booklist (USA) Footsteps on the Shore.

Heroes in crime novels are often ordinary people with their own set of problems and the key to producing a successful crime novel is not necessarily that the hero saves the world, aka James Bond, but that he also learns something about himself along the way.  Putting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances builds tension and readers tend to support characters in which they recognise certain traits they have themselves.

For me it is also important to write the stories I like to read, which is crime and thriller novels which have good strong characters and an intriguing and often complex plot that stimulates 'the little grey cells'.  I don't do gratuitous violence and I don't write hard boiled crime. That isn't to say there aren't gory bits in my novels but I am not out to shock simply to entertain, excite and intrigue.  Quite  a tall order! 

But perhaps to some degree I hopefully achieve this as readers often ask me questions about my flawed and rugged detective's troubled personal life: will Andy get back with his wife, Catherine? Will Catherine grant him greater access to their young daughter, Emma? Will Andy discover the truth about his mother's disappearance? Is his mother, Jennifer, alive or dead?  And can't Andy's nit picking boss, DCI Lorraine Bliss disappear somewhere...before Andy throttles her!!

These are not the main strands of the novels - thirteen now in the series - but they are the things that have shaped Andy Horton and made him what he is and therefore affect his decisions and his interactions with his colleagues and the villains.
In my view readers want to get stuck into a good crime novel, or mystery, which provides entertainment and a puzzle to solve, while at the same time care and feel for the characters.

I hope to achieve this with the Inspector Andy Horton crime series (13) the Art Marvik mysteries (3) and my two standalone thrillers, In For the Kill and In Cold Daylight.

Read more about the Art Marvik Mystery Thrillers

Read more about the Inspector Andy Horton crime novels

Read more about Pauline Rowson's thrillers

Where to buy Pauline Rowson's books

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MAY 26TH, 2018 @ 7:00:25 BST

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