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DI Andy Horton is at the Isle of Wight Festival in THE FARLINGTON MARSH MURDERS

The Farlington Marsh Murders by Pauline RowsonTHE FARLINGTON MARSH MURDERS, number eight in the Detective Inspector Andy Horton Solent Murder Mystery series (15) is set in June when the famous Isle of Wight Festival takes place, except for 2020 when it was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic and in 2021 when it was moved to 16-19 September after a successful vaccine roll out programme.

In 2022 the Isle of Wight Festival returns to its traditional slot 16-19 June and thousands traverse the Solent by ferry or hovercraft (some even by private boat) to join in the fun and frolics. DI Andy Horton, however, is there on a different and more serious matter. His investigations in THE FARLINGTON MARSH MURDERS take him from Portsmouth across the Solent on the Wightlink ferry to the Isle of Wight and to the festival.

In this extract Inspector Andy Horton is at the Isle of Wight Festival with Agent Harriet Ames from Europol. First though a bit of background blurb to the novel.

The FARLINGTON MARSH MURDERS open with Detective Inspector Andy Horton at the funeral of ex-con Daryl Woodley watching out for a big-time crook, who they suspect was involved in Woodley’s murder.

But it’s a perplexing case. Prior to his death, Woodley was assaulted and spent three days in hospital before discharging himself. His body was found on Farlington marshes, three miles from the hospital. How did he get there?

The funeral surveillance appears to be a bust. But the next morning Horton is called out when a woman’s body is found on a yacht wreck, stabbed in the back. She was at Woodley’s funeral.

Are the cases linked?

Extract from THE FARLINGTON MARSH MURDERS at the Isle of Wight Festival

The announcement for passengers to return to their cars came over the loudspeaker of the car ferry and twenty-five minutes later Horton was showing his warrant card to the security officers at the backstage entrance to Seaclose Park. The festival kicked off tonight and the fields away from the main performance areas were packed with tents and people. He asked where they could find Gregory Harlow, the event-catering manager for Coastline.
‘The blue and white tent,’ came the answer. ‘It’s the one that’s kitted out like a beach cafe with deckchairs, sand and surfboards.’
Following directions, and leaving the car inside the gates, as instructed, they threaded their way through the hordes of workers and security officers across the bone-hard field towards a giant blue-and-white-striped tent emblazoned with the words, ‘Coastline Cool’. It was one of many they passed, along with several coffee stalls, ice-cream kiosks and fast-food outlets. The hot midday air resounded with the sounds of shouting, drilling, banging and a blast of music loud enough to be heard on the mainland six miles across the Solent.
‘I’m glad I don’t live round here,’ Horton said, with feeling, spotting the bulky figure of DI Dennings talking to a lean fair-haired man in his mid-to late forties outside the Coastline Cool tent. Dennings was wearing the navy polo shirt and dark trousers of the official festival security officers.
‘Most of the residents move out for the festival,’ Ames said.
‘Can’t say I blame them.’
Dennings glanced across at them but gave no indication of recognition or hint of surprise, but Horton glimpsed the anger behind his eyes as they drew level. He guessed Dennings was thinking they were there to muscle in on his operation, or spoil it.
‘We’re looking for Mr Gregory Harlow,’ he said, politely.
‘You’ve just found him,’ answered the man beside Dennings.
Horton showed his ID and introduced Ames as a colleague. He caught Dennings’ baffled look as he obviously tried to place her.
‘We’d like a word, Mr Harlow.’
‘Can’t you see I’m busy?’
‘This won’t take long. There are a few questions we’d like to ask you in connection with the death of a woman.’
His expression showed no surprise, only extreme agitation and fatigue. Horton thought he might be a few years younger than his wife.
‘Do you have to ask them now? We’re way behind. The first bands are due to play in less than six hours.’
‘Is there somewhere we can talk in private, sir?’ Ames said politely, ignoring his plea and eyeing Dennings pointedly. She didn’t know him.
‘I’ll leave you to it, Greg. Thanks for the coffee,’ Dennings said pleasantly enough but Horton could tell he was bursting with curiosity.
‘You’d better come inside,’ Harlow said grudgingly.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "A brilliant book with more twists and turns than a corkscrew. A wide range of believable characters and an ending which means book 9 will have to be written." Kindle Customer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Just loved all the twists and turns in every chapter. The series gets better and so much more to understand. You will not put these books down." Brian O

"A fast paced excellent mystery, with an interesting diverse set of characters, and an intriguing hook at the end that has me eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series.Highly recommended." Mystery People

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JUNE 16TH, 2022 @ 6:20:26 BST

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