The inspiration behind the crime novel featuring fire fighters, In Cold Daylight, by Pauline Rowson

Ideas for crime novels can come from many different sources, often a location inspires me particularly with regard to the Andy Horton detective mysteries which are set around the sea in the Portsmouth, Isle of Wight area of the Solent. Other times a news item might create that spark or an overheard conversation and such was the case with one of my standalone crime novels, In Cold Daylight.

In Cold Daylight was inspired by a conversation I overheard on my husband’s watch one day in the Southsea Fire Station. My husband and his fire fighter colleagues were discussing the unusually high number of fire fighters from their watch who had contracted cancer. Most of the cancers had been centered around the neck, ears and throat, the area where fire fighters were not protected.  They believed it was from exposure in a fire to hazardous chemicals.  This was never investigated. Indeed it wasn't known which incident could have caused the cancer.  I decided to take this idea and blend the facts of this case within a dramatic fictional plot, creating a crime novel, which I am pleased to say was voted the third most popular novel for World Book Day in 2008.

Instead of featuring a brave fire-fighter hero though I chose to tell the story through the eyes of a man who is the opposite, marine artist, Adam Greene whose journey through overcoming depression, a nervous breakdown and leaning on the prop of his strong-willed, ambitious wife finds himself propelled into danger when he is has no choice but to investigate the death or his closest friend, fire fighter Jack Bartholomew, killed in a fire before he can reveal the cause of his own – and his colleagues’ cancer.  In a cryptic message orchestrated before his untimely death, Jack has left a trail of clues that will lead Adam into a labyrinth of lies, secrets and government conspiracy exposing an environmental scandal that has resulted in the deaths of fire fighters.

In Cold Daylight is dedicated to my husband, Bob, his former watch, Red Watch, and to all fire fighters, ‘the true heroes.’

In Cold Daylight is available in paperback, as an ebook, on Amazon Kindle and on Kobo.


If you've enjoyed reading my crime novels please do tell others, we'd also love for you to leave a short review or rating on Amazon as it all helps to introduce the novels to new readers.

Where to buy

Pauline Rowson's books USA

Pauline Rowson's books UK

From your local bookshop

Also available as an ebook and on Amazon Kindle, Kobo and for loan from UK, USA, Irish and Commonwealth libraries


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