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On research with Inspector Andy Horton in Lethal Waves

LETHAL WAVES is available in paperback, e book on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Apple and Google Books - Buy

The book opens in Guernsey when Inspector Andy Horton’s meal with his old friend, Inspector John Guilbert of the States of Guernsey Police, is cut short when a woman is found dead in her cabin on the ferry from Portsmouth to Guernsey. When the idea for this crime novel came to me I contacted Condor Ferries and asked if they would mind me using one of their ferries as one of the settings. I am delighted to say they gave permission and went further than that in offering to open up the ship for my research and for the launch of LETHAL WAVES some eighteen months later.

Read on as I walk you through my research on board the Condor Commodore Clipper

Pauline Rowson, Lethal Waves and Condor FerryatOn Monday 26 October 2015 courtesy of Condor Ferries I paid a research visit to the Condor Commodore Clipper. My visit was to check out my facts 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.

Here are some photographs taken from my research visit to Portsmouth International Port where the Condor Commodore Clipper ferry sails from to the Channel Islands. 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.

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

DI Andy Horton’s meal with his old friend, Inspector John Guilbert of the States of Guernsey Police, is cut short when a woman is found dead in her cabin on the ferry from Portsmouth to Guernsey. There doesn’t appear to be any suspicious circumstances. It's not Horton's case. But as soon as Horton returns to Portsmouth he's called in to investigate the death of a vagrant found lying partially covered under a rotting houseboat. This time, it’s clearly murder.

Troubled by the many unanswered questions surrounding both deaths, Horton must call upon all his skills and intuition to solve a complex case, uncovering dark secrets that have led to such lethal waves of destruction.

The Inspector Andy Horton crime novels in order

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AUGUST 7TH, 2020 @ 6:00:41 BST


RE: On research with Inspector Andy Horton in Lethal Waves

Hello, and thank you for all of the great, interesting Horton books, made more interesting for us because we have enjoyed visiting many of the locales used in the series. We live in Canada, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island (Port McNeill, a fairly remote logging town 500 kms up-island from Victoria, BC), and we go to Portsmouth to visit family who live in Hilsea, adjacent to Alexandra Park and with a view to Tipner. We will be in Portsmouth in May/June for a couple of weeks with a few days in the Isle of Wight - eagerly anticipating!

One question that I have; is there a reason that the Spinnaker Tower is never mentioned in any of the books, even as a landmark or reference-point?

Thanks to you, Alan Langrish in Port McNeill, BC, Canada


RE: On research with Inspector Andy Horton in Lethal Waves

Many thanks for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog. I`m so glad you enjoy reading about Inspector Andy Horton`s investigations. It looks lovely where you live, Andy would like it! The reason why I have steered clear of mentioning the Spinnaker Tower, is because the editor I had to begin with was wary that I had mentioned the real place name when I had a baddie in a gym based there so advised me to change it. I wish I hadn`t but that was it. I was stuck with it and by mentioning specifics like Spinnaker Tower it would pinpoint Oyster Quays as Gunwharf Quays because it is so distinctive. Of course anyone who knows the area or cares to look it up on line or on my Horton novels map, will see exactly where it is anyway. Maybe after all this time I could bring it in. It would be a good place to put a body, a fictional one I hasten to add.

I hope you have a lovely stay over here in May/June visiting Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. I love the Isle of Wight, great for walks.


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