How a mysterious telephone call sparks an investigation in DI Andy Horton DEAD PASSAGE

In the previous blogs I have talked about the locations that inspired me for DEAD PASSAGE, number 14 in the DI Andy Horton series. These are Rat Island in Portsmouth Harbour, The Spur Redoubt, the Solent Forts and Lumps Fort, the latter now Southsea Rose Gardens.

In addition to locations the idea for DEAD PASSAGE also came when I was crossing on the Wightlink Ferry the St Clair from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight.

DI Andy Horton mystery DEAD PASSAGE

I could visualize Andy Horton on board waiting for someone he had reluctantly agreed to meet because she claims she has something to tell him about her dead father, once the Labour Member of Parliament for Portsmouth whose death in a local hotel twelve years ago had been deemed misadventure due to a drug overdose. But she doesn't show.

Isle of Wight Ferry, St Clare at Portsmouth

 This simple idea sparked many questions - what is it about her father's death she has discovered? Why call Horton when he wasn't on the original investigation? Why not got to the police station to report any new evidence? Why meet on the Isle of Wight ferry? And then why not show? This all set me off on a story line.

Read an extract – Page one from DEAD PASSAGE

March – Wednesday

The trilling of Horton’s desk phone sent a jagged pain shooting through his throbbing head. He reached for the phone without looking at the display, expecting it to be his boss, DCI Lorraine Bliss, bellyaching about some failure on his part.
‘Yes,’ he said wearily, his eyes still on his computer screen.
‘Is that Inspector Horton?’ a woman asked. It certainly wasn’t Bliss.
‘It is.’ He pulled himself up.
‘This is Adele Goldsby.’
‘I’m sorry, I don’t––’
‘Remember me, no, I don’t expect you do. I’m Dudley Goldsby’s daughter.’
It took Horton a few moments before it clicked. Of course, Dudley Goldsby had been the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South-West and it had been April 2005 when he had found Goldsby’s naked body sprawled on a bed in a hotel room on Southsea seafront. Now fully alert, despite his headache, Horton asked how he could help.
‘I can’t tell you over the phone. Meet me on the Wightlink car ferry to the Isle of Wight, the St Clare, sailing at eleven this morning.’
‘It’s rather difficult at the––’
He heard the urgency in her voice. To say he was too busy would be cruel but the truth. He was so inundated with work that if he stayed at his desk non-stop for a fortnight he’d still have a pile of paperwork the size of an Egyptian pyramid. But he didn’t like to turn her down or fob her off. ‘Couldn’t you come to the station?’ he offered.
‘No,’ she replied firmly. ‘There’s something I need to show you. Please, just this once. I’ve never asked you for anything before.’

And when Horton tried to resist:

‘It has to be you,’ she hastily interrupted in a determined manner, yet there was no sign of hysteria in her voice.
There was nothing for it. With a reluctance that he hid from his voice, he said, ‘How will I know you?’

So DI Andy Horton is off on a new complex and twisting investigation where he uncovers a trail of lies, secrets and revenge with roots deep in the past.

DEAD PASSAGE, number 14 in the DI Andy Horton series is available in paperback, an ebook and on Amazon Kindle. 



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