Friday the thirteenth begins badly for DI Andy Horton when he wakes to find his Harley has been vandalized and his boss, DCI Lorraine Bliss, has returned early from her secondment to HQ. Then, convicted murderer Luke Felton, released on licence, is repotred missing and a decomposed corpse is washed up in Portsmouth harbour. But before Horton can get a grip on either case, he’s called to a house where a woman he’d only met the day before has been brutally murdered.
Is missing Luke Felton the prime suspect, or is it his body in the mud of the harbour? Horton is under pressure to get results, but things are about to get much worse for the beleaguered detective....
©2011 Pauline Rowson (P)2013 Soundings
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
This is the first book by Rowson I have read and the 6th in the series. Her continuing character is DI Andy Horton and this story is set in the Solent area. A couple of her earlier novels had won awards which is why I picked this one up, maybe I should have read one of those because I can't see it here.
DI Andy Horton has every police procedural cliche that I can think of: a superior who hates him and wants to undermine him while claiming credit for his successes. The superior is a totally unsympathetic female character. He also so has an unfaithful almost ex-wife with a wealthy father and who tries to keep him away from their eight year old daughter because Horton was falsely accused of rape in some previous book. The almost ex-wife's lover is fat and pusillanimous. He wears leathers and rides a Harley. His mother left him as a child and he was reared by mainly abusive foster parents. He lives on a yacht moored at a marina. I could list police procedurals where all of these tropes appeared, admittedly not all at once, and where they contributed to a compelling read.
What DI Horton lacks is believability or any reason to want to read about him. I also wonder why all of the women in the book are either dead, disappeared, promiscuous, duped by men, or actively vicious. Any overweight character is depicted as criminal or immoral. Some authors are able to bring even minor, unattractive characters to life with a few lines, but Rowson is not one of them-- at least not in this book.
There is also one of my least favorite denouements where the villain explains in detail what was done to outwit the police and why it was done.
Read by Gordon Griffith not one of my favorite narrators but not actively annoying here. On my iphone Audible app I could put the speed on 1.25X which helped some.
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