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The story behind DI Andy Horton mystery, Death Surge

Death Surge a DI Andy Horton crime novel The inspiration for DEATH SURGE, number 10 in the series of 15, came like all the other novels in the Inspector Andy Horton police procedural series featuring my flawed and rugged Portsmouth detective from the location. It is locations that inspire me and with the Horton series, set against the powerfully evocative British marine landscape of the Solent on the South Coast of England, there is always a good place to put a body.

I also chose to set DEATH SURGE around the annual international sailing regatta of Cowes Week, which takes place in the Solent off the small coastal town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight in the first week of August each year, except for 2020 when it, like every other event, was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  In 2021 Cowes Week took place between 31 July and 7 August.

Placing my crime novels against the backdrop of the sea has many advantages. The sea is never constant. In one day it can change from being calm to turbulent. It is also dangerous, misleading and evil like many villains, and although it can look safe, beneath can be a sandbank, a rock, a wreck, a dangerous current all of which can cause havoc and kill, and be used to good effect in a crime novel. It also provides a great backdrop for pace and great settings for a climax, which, of course, I’ve used in DEATH SURGE.

The sea is also completely uncontrollable. No matter how much you think or wish you can control it, you can't, you need to respect it. In life sometimes you need to go with the flow and other times swim against the tide, the trick is knowing when to do which. My detective, Andy Horton, hasn't quite got it sussed, or when he thinks he has something happens to throw him completely off course, just as in life.

Death Surge opens with Andy sailing off the Isle of Wight on the small yacht on which he lives. He’s trying to find inner peace after a gruelling investigation which has left him questioning his desire to remain in the job. His ongoing conflict with his nit-picking, control-freak, Alpha female boss DCI Lorraine Bliss doesn’t help matters either. He’s also seeking to escape the mental torment being caused by the startling revelations his own private investigations are revealing into the disappearance of his mother, Jennifer,when he was ten. Then a call comes from Sergeant Cantelli, Horton’s most revered friend, and colleague in CID, to say that his nephew, Johnnie is missing. Johnnie was due to join a sailing team on one of the large yachts taking part in the racing during Cowes Week. The news brings Horton straight back to work and on the investigation into Johnnie's disappearance which soon triggers a race to find a killer.

While researching the novel I  also found another rather unique location which I just had to bring in, that of the ancient fortifications on the northern border of the island city of Portsmouth, five miles across the Solent from the Isle of Wight, the Hilsea Lines where the charred remains of a body are found.

In DEATH SURGE, as in some of  my other Horton novels, I’ve drawn on my husband’s expertise, he is a retired fire fighter and can provide valuable assistance when it comes to researching fires and charred bodies.

Cantelli’s missing nephew also brings Horton’s personal emotions into focus as he continues his investigation in the disappearance of his mother.

DI Andy Horton and crime novel DEATH SURGE"A crisply written, cleverly plotted procedural with a nice twist, Rowson’s latest also continues the intriguing saga of Andy’s search for the mother who disappeared in mysterious circumstances when he was a child." Booklist.

Death Surge is available in paperback, as an ebook on Amazon Kindle and on Kobo and as an unabridged audio book narrated by Gordon Griffin and published by Soundings.

The DI Andy Horton novels in order:

Tide of Death (1)
Deadly Waters (2)
The Suffocating Sea (3)
Dead Man's Wharf  (4)
Blood on the Sand (5)
Footsteps on the Shore (6)
A Killing Coast (7)
Death Lies Beneath (8)
Undercurrent (9)
Death Surge  (10)
Shroud of Evil (11)
Fatal Catch (12)
Lethal Waves (13)
Dead Passage (14)
A Deadly Wake (15)

Read more about each DI Andy Horton novel.

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AUGUST 9TH, 2021 @ 6:31:14 BST


RE: The story behind DI Andy Horton mystery, Death Surge

I`m just going into Amazon to order Death Surge for my Kindle. Will the mystery of his mother be solved in this story? Phew you do write a good cliffhanger. Love all your books.


RE: The story behind DI Andy Horton mystery, Death Surge

Thank you. Glad you enjoy the books. As to will Andy find the truth behind his mother`s disappearance... ah well you`ll have to keep reading to find out!


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