12 February 2009

Review: DEADLY WATERS, Pauline Rowson

Severn House, 2007, ISBN 978-0-7278-6555-7, 214 pages

The body of the head teacher of a local school is found in Langston Harbour, Portsmouth, along with a wad of money wrapped up in a five pound note and smothered with honey. The head teacher's car is missing, and her body is actually found out on the mulberry in the harbour, so it had to have been taken there by boat. As the investigation proceeds other nursery rhyme clues crop up, and there is another murder. The investigation team is led by DI Andy Horton about to be supplanted because of recent indiscretions.

DEADLY WATERS has a complex plot but I struggled to keep the threads together in my mind despite the relative shortness of the book. A certain amount of tension is generated by the fact that Andy Horton is given just a week to solve the case by his superior, Superintendent Uckfield. Horton is fighting a personal battle to gain access to his daughter and to sort his own life out. The investigation is hampered by people providing false alibis

This is the fourth title in Pauline Rowson's "marine" mysteries (but only the second in the Andy Horton titles). The problems I had in focussing on the plot of this book may perhaps be attributable to the fact that I have not read earlier titles. According to Pauline Rowson's own website DEADLY WATERS, which I read in hardback, will be available in paperback in April 2009.

My rating 4.2

The Andy Horton series

1. Tide of Death (2006)

2. Deadly Waters (2007)
3. The Suffocating Sea (2008)
4. Dead Man's Wharf (2009)

Coincidentally today I got a promotional email from Pauline Rowson's marketing agent, titled Crime Writer's Unsolved Family Murder Mystery. On the website the same information is available under the title Fiftieth Anniversary of Crime Writer's Unsolved Family Murder.

It continues
Not every crime writer has personal experience of murder in their family but on the fiftieth anniversary of her great aunt’s brutal killing, Pauline Rowson, author of the popular series of marine mysteries featuring the flawed and rugged Inspector Horton, takes time to remember Martha Giles’s unlawful killing on 12 February 1959, and one mystery that it appears she will never be able to solve.
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Paul D Brazill said...

Pauline's books seem great and are in my TBR pile. The Polish translations are doing very well, i hear.

Kaye said...

Are you sure this isn't written by the Owl and the Pussycat or the Piggywig that lived where the bong tree grows?


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