Wednesday, 12 June 2019

How did you come up with DI Andy Horton and Art Marvik, are they based on real people?

I like heroes. I make no apology for that and being married to a former veteran and fire fighter I had plenty of material to choose from.

Andy Horton is a combination of many men I have met during my adult life primarily those who I have met through my husband’s career as a fire fighter, fit, fearless, caring and with a strong sense of duty to the public. Andy Horton has all these qualities and along with being tough and resilient he is also deeply empathetic.

His empathy enables him to put himself in a victim’s shoes, to imagine events from their perspective (even the moments up to their death), making leaps of deduction few would be able to. And he’s most often right. But it also makes him vulnerable. He carries a lot of personal baggage as many people do, men especially, who have difficulty in unburdening themselves and sharing their problems.

Abandoned by his mother at the age of ten, with no knowledge of his father he's been raised in children's homes and in care. This has made him a very self-contained person, who finds it difficult to trust. He is especially tough on bullies, or people who abuse their power or position, as they remind him of the people in the children’s homes. When this happens, when his guard slips, he’s like a raw nerve. He fears his emotions will betray him.

He feels a duty of care to the victims of the crimes he investigates and often feels like he’s the only person looking out for them; the only one who can bring the guilty to justice so that the dead can rest. No one cared about him when he was a child; he won’t let that happen to anyone else.

An Inspector Andy Horton Mystery

And what about Art Marvik?

With Marvik I wanted a character who was not bound by the official rules of the law, but who was nevertheless on the right side of it and the Marvik novels had to have all the hallmarks of my brand – a troubled hero, the sea, boats, interesting and diverse characters and lots of action.

Marvik, like Horton, is also fit and tough, but he is a former Royal Marine, Special Boat Services officer while Andy Horton is a copper.  Whereas Andy Horton is emotionally scarred, Marvik is physically scarred having incurred facial injuries in combat. He’s also desperately trying to adjust to a new life outside the services and this can be very difficult for a number of veterans (and fire fighters) who have seen a lot of action and trauma and experienced many high adrenaline fixes.

Marvik thought he’d be able to adjust and carve out a new career for himself on the sea, but his first job as a private maritime security operative goes very wrong when the luxury motor cruiser he was travelling on and had been detailed to guard, gets attacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean, and Marvik finds himself with a bullet in his shoulder and the boat’s owner dead. He’d failed on his first mission in civilian life, and Silent Running opens with him reeling from it. When he’s invited to work undercover on dangerous assignments for Detective Superintendent Crowder’s National Intelligence Marine Squad, Marvik grabs it with both hands.

Marvik's role is to go into a mission with the minimum of information, to probe, ask questions, stir up trouble and provoke the truth and a killer into the open. There are currently three in the Marvik mystery thriller series, Silent Running, Dangerous Cargo and Lost Voyage.

The Art Marvik mystery thrillers

Who would play Inspector Andy Horton or Art Marvik in a TV series of film?

As to who would play them on TV or in a film that is difficult to answer because every reader sees the characters differently, especially Andy Horton who I have never physically described in any of the novels. When I ask readers this question the actors they come up with are: Tom Hardy, Jason Statham and Paul Bettany. Michael Fassbender I think would make a great Art Marvik. His characteristics as described on IMDB are: "Deep, calm voice combined with emotionally intense gritty performances” Sounds like my man.

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