Solving a brutal murder is the least of DI Horton’s problems.
Andy Horton is slowly emerging from the shadows left on his career when he was falsely accused of a crime. His wife has left him for another man; he hasn’t seen his daughter in months; and he’s living on a cold, cramped boat in Langstone Harbour while attempting to chase down a clever bunch of antique thieves. The biggest blow to his ego comes when his old pal, Superintendent Uckfield, gives him a week to solve the murder of head teacher Jessica Langley before it’s handed over to the new Major Crime Team, a squad Horton had expected to join. Jessica’s body has been found on a partially submerged wreck in the harbor with a honey-smeared roll of money tucked in her knickers. The reference to Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat” and a cryptic note written on a betting slip in her pocket are the only clues. When Horton and his loyal friend Sgt. Cantelli start digging into Jessica’s life, they quickly discover that many people disliked the attractive, competent, abrasive head. Did any of that dislike lead to murder? Horton soon realizes that his two cases may be related. A second murder presses him to find the killer before the killer finds him.
Rowson (In for the Kill, 2007, etc.) adds an appealing, if not especially original, hero to the British procedural ranks.