Dead Passage, DI Andy Horton crime novel by Pauline Rowson
In previous Horton novels I have featured some of the locations used in DEAD PASSAGE - the ancient fortifications which were erected by Henry VII and Henry VIII to protect the city from the marauding French and the Spur Redoubt.
Here is another fortification erected in a later period and known as Lord Palmerston’s Follies, the Solent Forts, which is also featured in DEAD PASSAGE. This is No Man's Fort which, like another of the Solent Forts, Spitbank Fort, is now a unique luxury hotel and well worth a stay or a visit for lunch.
No Man's Fort - Solent featured in crime novel DEAD PASSAGE
About the Solent FortsFear of invasion by the French led by Napoleon III resulted in the commissioning of these sea based defences by British Prime Minister Lord Henry Palmerston. Concerned that the naval fleet and Portsmouth dockyard would be a target, work began on five commissioned forts in the 1860s. With 15ft granite walls and armour plating, these magnificent structures are testament to the skill of Victorian engineering. Taking 15 years to complete, by the time the forts were ready for occupation, the feared French threat of invasion no longer existed and hence, the forts became known as "Palmerston’s follies”.
My grateful thanks to Solent Forts for helping me with my research for DEAD PASSAGE
An extract from DEAD PASSAGEHorton drank his coffee and stared out at the grey, increasingly choppy sea. There were only a couple of hardy sailors braving it and a launch which was making its way towards the solid circular granite structure of one of the four Solent forts built to protect Portsmouth from the marauding French in 1867. The French had never made it to Portsmouth in the 1800s but they did now on the ferries that sailed into the international port. In the Second World War the forts had played their part in helping to defend the dockyard, after which they had lain derelict for years until Spitbank Fort, where the launch was heading, had been converted into a luxury hotel like its larger sister, No Man’s Fort, further east and closer to the Isle of Wight. Horton had never been on them.
He will be called upon to do so though, but that would be spoiling the story for you.
Also featured in DEAD PASSAGE is Lumps Fort. It doesn’t look much like this in DEAD PASSAGE which is set in March.
Southsea Rose Gardens - Lumps Fort featured in crime novel DEAD PASSAGE
Read the extractHorton had left the Harley in the adjacent car park and walked the short distance to Lumps Fort which had become the rose gardens years ago. It was just off the seafront with only the ruined fortified walls and a few mounts for guns to show it had once formed part of the city’s defences built in the mid to late 1800s. In summer the gardens were a riot of colours and scent. Now the bare rose twigs sprouted tentatively above the well-cultivated brown earth. It was just after one o’clock but the gardens were deserted thanks to the almost gale-force gusting wind roaring off the sea and the fitful rain showers that accompanied it. Harnley was huddled in the far left-hand corner under the covered shelter that ran along part of the walls. Horton took a seat beside the fidgety fretful man whose eyes were constantly moving. Harnley, like Pilbeam, looked drawn and ill.
So why does Harnley look ill, what is troubling him and Pilbeam? Who are they? What connects them if anything and what connects this with Rat Island, the Spur Redoubt, No Man’s Fort and Lumps Fort.? DEAD PASSAGE, number 14 in the DI Andy Horton series, will reveal all.
DEAD PASSAGE is available in paperback, an ebook and on Amazon Kindle.
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Also available as an ebook and on Amazon Kindle, Kobo and for loan from UK, USA, Irish and Commonwealth libraries