Tuesday, 20 April 2021
Sunday, 18 April 2021
DEAD SEA, no. 4 in the series, things get personal for undercover investigator Art Marvik who works for the UK Police National Intelligence Squad when he
finds himself on a quest for the truth behind his parents deaths in
1997. Professor Dan Coulter a renowned oceanographer and Dr Eerika
Marvik an equally renowned marine archaeologist were killed in an
underwater tremour while diving off the Straits of Malacca. Marvik is
forced to face the past and expose the secrecy and scandal behind their
When Marvik visits his safe deposit box in his London bank and discovers that a three-and-a-half inch floppy disk he had placed there a few weeks previously has been stolen he is surprised and deeply troubled. What’s more it has been taken only the day before his arrival by a man Marvik has never heard of. Puzzled and disturbed, Marvik is left cursing his reluctance to ask his former Royal Marine colleague, intelligence and cyber expert, Shaun Strathen, to open the disk and reveal its contents when he first discovered it in the possession of murdered marine archaeologist, Sarah Redburn. Now its theft indicates that Sarah was killed because of its highly toxic contents. Convinced it holds the key to the truth behind the deaths of his parents, Marvik, with Strathen’s aid, sets out to track down the thief. As they follow a trail of abduction and murder it soon becomes clear that the computer disk holds the key to a secret that a ruthless killer is determined must never be revealed.
Read an extract from DEAD SEA- Page three
Marvik made for the train. When seated he let his mind return to the notebook and disk. He’d discovered them in the belongings of a marine archaeologist called Sarah Redburn, whom he had met during an investigation for the UK police’s National Intelligence Marine Squad in March, the unit that both he and Strathen worked for undercover. Marvik recalled his one and only meeting with Sarah in a steamy café on the seafront in Swanage. She had professed to be a great admirer of his late mother, Dr Eerika Marvik, a renowned marine archaeologist. Shortly after that Sarah’s body had been found at the foot of the cliffs just outside the Dorset coastal town. She’d been strangled. Her killer had, so far, eluded the police. Marvik’s boss, Detective Chief Superintendent Crowder, had told him that he believed Sarah’s murder was connected with the death of Marvik’s parents, Professor Dan Coulter, a leading expert on ocean turbulence and the world’s ocean seabed, and Dr Eerika Marvik. Both had been killed in an underwater explosion in the Straits of Malacca in 1997. Crowder wouldn’t or couldn’t tell him more. Perhaps because he had no more to tell, or perhaps he didn’t know, but something had triggered that idea. Marvik didn’t think that Crowder had seen the notebook or disk, or was aware of them, though he could be wrong.
Whatever was on that computer disk was obviously of sufficient interest to one party for it to have been stolen by them. But what could it be? And how had the notebook and disk come to be in Sarah’s possessions? Who knew of their existence? More importantly, who knew he had found them and placed them in his bank deposit box three weeks ago? Not Crowder because Marvik hadn’t told him. And not Colmead either. Strathen was the only person and Marvik trusted him implicitly. Strathen also had the ancient hard drive able to open the disk, and the skill to retrieve and analyse its contents. Contents, which Marvik now thought, must be explosive, certainly to someone.
The train seemed to take an age to reach the south coast town of Southampton, and it was close to five when Marvik finally alighted and hurried towards the solicitors’ offices. He was relieved to find it still open but disappointed and then suspicious to be greeted with the news that Michael Colmead was on holiday.
‘When did he go?’ he asked the receptionist.
‘Yesterday,’ she answered readily enough, but Marvik sensed and noted her unease. His suspicions deepened.
‘When will he return?’
‘I … er… I’m not sure.’
Saturday, 17 April 2021
What's in a name? An awful lot as far as an author is concerned. Getting the right name for the characters in my crime novels can be a tricky business. Sometimes they can come to me completely out of the blue, other times I will struggle to find the name that best suits that particular character and until I do the personality refuses to come alive. The name also needs to fit with the age and nationality of that character although you can have exceptions.
Friday, 16 April 2021
A Killing Coast, like all the Inspector Andy Horton crime novels, is set against the atmospheric backdrop of the sea in the Solent on the South Coast of England, in the waterfront city of Portsmouth and the surrounding towns, and the stunning coastal locations of the Isle of Wight. It's April and Andy Horton finds himself engaged in a new complex murder investigation.
"Meticulous police work leads Horton to a particularly callous and ruthless killer as well as theft and blackmail…includes a few unexpected twists.” Publishers Weekly
"Multilayered, twisted, and complex...a surprising conclusion and a satisfying read." Booklist
Thursday, 15 April 2021
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Killing Coast, like all the Inspector Andy Horton crime novels, is set
against the atmospheric backdrop of the sea in the Solent on the South
Coast of England, in the waterfront city of Portsmouth and the
surrounding towns, and the stunning coastal locations of the Isle of
It's April and Andy Horton finds himself engaged in a new complex murder investigation.
Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Monday, 12 April 2021
are always a great inspiration for me and trigger ideas for many of my
crime novels particularly those in the series featuring my flawed and
rugged Portsmouth copper, Inspector Andy Horton.
For number seven in the Horton crime series, A Killing Coast, I was first inspired by the beautiful and rugged coastline on the east of the Isle of Wight, in particular the stretch from Ventnor to St Catherine’s lighthouse which takes in the rocky Woody Bay, a good place to put a body!
Saturday, 10 April 2021
Friday, 9 April 2021
Thursday, 8 April 2021
This was, of course, long before the Coronavirus pandemic struck
in 2020 and all social gatherings like these were banned. I know many
people are missing events and I am missing entertaining the lovely
audiences . However the good news is that my first LIVE talk is booked
for July 2021 when once again we will be free to socialise in England
(hopefully). Meanwhile I am looking back at some of the talks I have
conducted over the years.
Wednesday, 7 April 2021
Here are some snippets of forensic facts uncovered during my research for this and for the others in the DI Andy Horton mystery series.
Investigators will check whether the soil has been disturbed. They
will look for any unusual depressions or indentations in the ground. As a
body beneath the surface decomposes, the soil above it will slump
further into the grave. The soil will also be looser and softer than
the surrounding compacted soil, which can be another indicator of
Studying the soil colour, texture and consistency can also be used to determine if the soil has been previously disturbed.
Soil collected will be analysed by forensic soil scientists. The type of soil a body is buried in can alter its rate of decomposition—acidic soil can cause a body to break down up faster than alkaline soil so this can be useful if the body has been missing for several years.
Forensic archaeologists also look at plant growth or death, and at changes in appearance to an area. These clues can help investigators obtain information regarding the presence of a possible grave.
So there you have it!
Tuesday, 6 April 2021
Do you write in sequence? At a talk I gave I was asked an interesting question - do I always write in sequence – or should that be sequentia...