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December and Andy Horton has a gruesome murder to solve

Fatal Catch a DI Andy Horton crime novel by Pauline RowsonTwo of my DI Andy Horton crime novels are set around Christmas, and the Inspector Ryga 1950s set mystery DEATH IN THE HARBOUR (2). So if you fancy getting into the festive spirit with DI Andy Horton then FATAL CATCH and THE SUFFOCATING SEA Sea should be on your reading list, or step back into the fifties with Inspector Ryga in DEATH IN THE HARBOUR .

Here I look at FATAL CATCH. It opens on 12 December and DI Horton is called out to examine a gruesome catch by two fishermen: a human hand. Is it that of missing violent criminal Alfie Wright – or is he the killer? And where is the rest of the corpse? Soon Horton finds himself immersed in a complex case where everyone has a reason to lie and no one is who they seem. His instincts tell him to trust no one and believe nothing; he’s not sure though whether this time he’ll succeed …

"A great read for mystery lovers with plenty to keep you guessing until the last moment." Crime Book Club

Read two short extracts from FATAL CATCH - it might tempt you to buy the book or borrow it from a library if you haven't already done so!

Wednesday 12 December

The call came through just as Nat King Cole was about to roast his chestnuts on an open fire, and just as Horton reached the head of the long supermarket queue. He scrabbled for his mobile phone inside his leather jacket, drawing a loud exhalation of disapproval from the woman behind him, while he threw an apologetic smile at the twenty-something cashier
processing the toys and books he was buying for his daughter, Emma. It was Sergeant Cantelli and he’d only call if it was important.


Sergeant Elkins indicated the dirty white plastic container lying on the floor of the cockpit. It looked to Horton like the type used for containing ice cream or margarine bought from the wholesalers only there were no labels or markings on it and inside he could see the vague shape of something that caused him a puzzled frown. Elkins nodded at PC Ripley, who, with latex covered fingers, prised open the lid. Horton started with surprise but it was Cantelli, peering over the side of the boat, who voiced his initial thoughts.
‘My God! Is it real?’
‘It’s real all right,’ Elkins said solemnly. ‘You can see the arteries where it’s been severed at the wrist.’
And the blackened exposed tissue, thought Horton, quickly recovering from his initial shock, staring at the human hand. The flesh, although a yellowish colour and emitting a sickly odour, was intact, no sea creatures or insect life had eaten into it, and there was no decomposition, which meant it couldn’t have been in the sea for very long. The container could have protected it he supposed, it looked fairly waterproof. There were slithers of water in the bottom but they could have been caused when the container had been opened by the two fishermen. The hand was fairly broad but the fingers were thin, ringless and quite long. A man’s hand he thought, though he’d leave that for Dr Gaye Clayton, the pathologist, to confirm. Mentally he measured it against his own hand and decided that whoever it had once been part of had been leaner than him. The nails were short, possibly bitten. He couldn’t see any tattoos and he wasn’t going to turn it over to find out if there were any on the palm.
‘Could a boat propeller have sliced it off?’ asked Cantelli.
‘It could but that hardly accounts for it being in a container. And where’s the rest of him?’

"Plenty of red herrings and a surprising culprit. Series fans will appreciate additional clues about the unsolved murder of Horton’s mother, Jennifer, more than 30 years earlier." Publishers Weekly

Fatal Catch is available in paperback, as an e book and on Amazon Kindle and Kobo. Also available for loan from UK, USA and Commonwealth Libraries.

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DECEMBER 11TH, 2020 @ 6:39:57 GMT

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