28 December 2012

Review: DEATH LIES BENEATH, Pauline Rowson

  • Format: Kindle - from an e-book ARC kindly suppled by the author
  • published November 2012
  • #8 in the DI Andy Horton series
  • File Size: 396 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Digital (November 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009G6R0G6
Synopsis (Amazon)

When ex-con Daryl Woodley is found dead on the marshes bordering Langstone Harbour, the Intelligence Directorate believe his murder is linked to big-time crook Marty Stapleton, currently serving time in prison.

Detective Inspector Horton is not so sure, and is thrown into a complex and frustrating investigation when a body is found on a rotting boat being salvaged in Portsmouth Harbour.

As the pressure to solve the case increases, Horton receives a chilling personal message; time, it seems, is also running out for him . . .

My Take

If you've not met this British police procedural series based around Portsmouth Harbour and the Isle of Wight, allow me to recommend them. DEATH LIES BENEATH is #8 in the series and probably not a good place to start, simply because sequential character and setting development connects all the novels in a sort of linear fashion.

The sequence (from Fantastic Fiction) is
1. Tide of Death (2006)
2. Deadly Waters (2007)
3. The Suffocating Sea (2008)
4. Dead Man's Wharf (2009)
5. Blood on the Sand (2010)
6. Footsteps on the Shore (2011)
7. A Killing Coast (2012)
8. Death Lies Beneath (2012)
9. Undercurrent (2013)
and so by #8 we've come quite a long way in Andy Horton's story.

Horton's personal story includes a failed marriage, the fight for access to his young daughter, and a search for the truth about why his own mother disappeared when he was very young. In each novel the author balances these factors against a mystery, and usually at least one murder.

Pauline Rowson is an excellent constructor of false trails and DEATH LIES BENEATH is no exception. Ex-con Darryl Woodley's death results in a funeral which Horton and a photographer attend just to see who else turns up, in an effort to solve the crime of Woodley's murder. A woman whom Horton can't identify appears at the funeral but before 24 hours have passed, her body is found at Portsmouth Harbour. The diving team looking for her handbag finds another body that has been on one of the wrecks for a number of years. Three bodies seems a huge coincidence and Horton doesn't believe in them, but are the three murders connected?

At the same time a bit more evidence seems connected to Horton's missing mother, Jennifer, but it doesn't seem he is much closer to knowing what happened to her.

I really enjoy these books. They are carefully plotted and Andy Horton is a likeable if flawed character.

My rating: 4.6

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About the author

Pauline Rowson is the author of the DI Andy Horton Marine Mystery series of crime novels and thrillers.
Visit http://www.rowmark.co.uk for more information.
Follow Pauline Rowson on Twitter http://twitter.com/PaulineRowson
Or visit the Marine Mysteries Face Book Page
Member of the Crime Writers' Association of Great Britain, and The Society of Authors

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