- Published 2012 by Severn House
- ISBN 978-0-7278-8144-1
- 215 pages
- #7 in the Andy Horton series
- source: my local library
When a body is found floating in the sea off Portsmouth harbour, Detective Inspector Horton initially judges it to be an accidental death.
Soon though, to his dismay, he discovers he’s got it very wrong. Accused of being incompetent by his boss, and with the head of the Major Crime Team coming down heavily on him, Horton wonders if he’s allowed his ongoing investigation into the disappearance of his mother over thirty years ago to cloud his judgement.
With no clear motive for the murder, Horton is sucked into a baffling investigation that he is determined to resolve despite the odds. Not only does he need to find a brutal killer, but Horton now has to prove to himself, and others, that he is still up to the job.
Several things are happening at once at the beginning of this novel: Andy Horton is interviewing a retiree who was the young PC investigating Jennifer Horton's disappearance thirty years before, a local reports seeing lights out at sea at night, and the body of a woman is washed up on the coastline. DCI Bliss's pet Project Neptune, aimed at detecting terrorism attempts, means any unusual lights have to be investigated, and while drownings are not uncommon, each needs careful scrutiny.
The plot rapidly becomes more complex as Andy Horton is put under pressure by senior officers and colleagues and more events compete for his time. The complexity is intensified by the number of red herrings floating about. These are largely generated by Horton and his offsider Cantelli who constantly come up with possible explanations for the cases they are involved in, only to discard those that don't accommodate all the facts.
By the end of the novel I felt that there had been far too many of these possible solutions and the effect was almost like wading through pea soup. Finally it is with some relief to see Horton charging his way to the final answer.
Nevertheless a satisfying read. Andy Horton's own story, which runs like a thread through all the novels is just a little furthered, and most of the loose ends are tidied away.
My rating: 4.3
Other reviews to check
See the list of books in this series (author site)
I've also reviewed
DEADLY WATERS (#2)
THE SUFFOCATING SEA (#3)
DEAD MAN'S WHARF (#4)