The source of ideas for my DI Andy Horton crime novels

Ideas for my crime novels, as I've said before, can come from anywhere: from an overheard conversation, from a story someone tells me, from a specific location, or from witnessing something such as the coastguard rescue.  Sometimes ideas come from a newspaper article and this news item popped up into my Google feeder last week from the Isle of Wight County Press.

"A GANG of lobster fishermen conspired to smuggle 255 kilos of cocaine through the Island into England, a court heard. The haul, which is believed to have come from Brazil, was found floating in The Solent off the coast of the Island by another fisherman on May 31 last year.A jury at Kingston Crown Court heard Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) officers were posted on the IW, while others were watching from the coast of Hampshire."

The trial is continuing but the article certainly got the ideas flowing but then there is never a shortage of them where I live and where my crime novels are based, Portsmouth, The Solent and the Isle of Wight. 

Spinnaker Tower in the foreground at Gunwharf Quays (Oyster Quays in the Horton novels) HMS Victory in the background and the Wightlink (Isle of Wight) ferrye

Portsmouth ( DI Andy Horton's patch) is a thriving port and busy city, steeped in history and with a modern vibrant waterfront giving access to one of the busiest harbours in the World. Home to the Royal Navy and with the Isle of Wight and the Solent on its doorstep so there is always plenty going on, not all of it criminal I hasten to add.  Ideas are the easy bit, it's turning them into a novel of 80,000 words that's tricky, but it's fascinating and fun. 

Cocaine haul worth ‘£70 million’:


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