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The story behind Fatal Catch, a DI Andy Horton Mystery

Fatal Catch a DI Andy Horton Mystery by Pauline RowsonFATAL CATCH, is the twelfth in the Inspector Andy Horton series of fourteen and soon to be fifteen with A DEADLY WAKE published in June 2020. Like all my crime novels it is set against the atmospheric backdrop of the sea on the South Coast of England.

The 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 international port, its historic dockyard, 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. It also offers up some rather gruesome findings.

Sadly body parts do get fished out of the Solent and do get washed up on the shores as my local newspaper occasionally reports and as my research with Hampshire Police Marine Unit uncovered.

In FATAL CATCH two fishermen haul just such a gruesome catch – a human severed hand. But to make this more unusual and intriguing I decided to put the severed hand inside a container. This throws up numerous questions for DI Andy Horton just who does the hand belong to? Where is the rest of the body? Who put the hand inside the container and why? Is it the hand of missing criminal Alfie Wright?

Added to which Horton receives a request to meet with a Dr Carolyn Grantham who claims that she is undertaking research into missing persons including Andy Horton's mother, Jennifer, who vanished thirty years ago. As always Horton is suspicious, why now just when his own personal investigations into his mother's disappearance are beginning to yield answers? Maybe it is because of that Carolyn Grantham has been sent to discover how much he knows and to make sure he stays silent. But Horton tells himself he is being paranoid. He shouldn't let his suspicions sour every relationship he has and, ignoring the silent warning voice in the back of his mind, he finds himself emotionally involved.

As Horton desperately tries to keep his emotional feelings under control and focus on his work the investigation into the gruesome catch gets more complex when one of the fishermen goes missing and the other into hiding. Was the fishing up of the hand accidental after all, perhaps it had always been on board that boat. Horton is determined to get to the bottom of the case, but the deeper he digs, the more lies and secrets he uncovers. His instincts tell him to trust no one and believe nothing; he’s not sure though whether this time he’ll succeed.

Fatal Catch is available in paperback and as an e book on Amazon Kindle and on Kobo

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Available from all good booksellers in paperback, as an ebook, Large Print and as unabridged audio book and for loan in libraries in the UK, Commonwealth and the USA.

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APRIL 6TH, 2020 @ 7:08:54 BST

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