An Art Marvik mystery thriller by Pauline Rowson
SILENT RUNNING is the first in the series to feature former Royal Marine Commando, Special Boat Services Officer, Art Marvik. Marvik finds himself being seconded to work undercover for the UK's law enforcement agency the National Intelligence Marine Squad (NIMS) headed by Detective Chief Superintendent Crowder. It is Marvik's first mission for the squad and he is sucked into a dangerous and deadly mission, in a race to find a killer whose slaying spree spans the decades.
Read an extract and see some of the location photographs below.
Marvik caught the sound of sirens in the distance. There was no time to lose. He leapt off the boat and sprinted to his own, knowing that somewhere in the car park or on the bank to his right the killer was watching him. He pressed the ignition at the helm. Nothing. He tried again. Shit! The sirens were growing louder. He didn’t have time to stay and be questioned by the police. Even if he did and explained the purpose of his visit and the fact he was investigating Esther Shannon’s murder and hoping to get some idea where Charlotte was being held and by whom, he could see his story being dismissed as ludicrous. The man who had murdered Esther Shannon was in prison. And Charlotte’s disappearance was much more likely to be laid at his door. After all he had been with her on Wednesday night. He had slept with her. Perhaps he hadn’t dropped her off at Town Quay but had dumped her body in the Solent. And he had been at that derelict coastguard cottage on Wednesday night when Ashley Palmer had gone missing. The police would claim that Charlotte and Ashley had been lovers and he had been jealous and had murdered them both. He was a trained killer. And what would they say of his motive for Ross’s death? His mind whirled as again and again he tried to start the engine. Someone would come up with a plausible motive, and his DNA and fingerprints were on Ross’s boat. And that had been the only evidence that had secured a conviction against Terence Blackerman.
The engine spluttered and died. The sirens were so loud now the police must be on the approach road to the marina. Should he abandon the boat and make for the shore, and return when the police had left? But no, they’d block the road and interview everyone who was around.
He tried again as the flashing blue lights came into view. At last! The engine sprang into life. He breathed a sigh of relief, cast off the only line at the rear holding him to the pontoon and, jumping on board, pushed up the throttle and swung out of the marina and into the river. He risked a glance back. There were no police on the pontoons but he could see activity at the marina.
Keeping strictly to the speed limit, not wanting to draw attention to himself, he motored slowly down the river towards the sea. Only once did he look back and see uniformed officers on the pontoon. It wasn’t until he was out to sea that he considered fully what had happened. Someone had given the police an anonymous tip-off. The killer most probably, and had the killer mentioned he’d seen a tall, muscular man with a scarred face climb on board the boat? You bet.
Littlehampton Marina, featured in the Silent Running
Littlehampton featured in Silent Running