DI Andy Horton (Blood on the Sand, 2010, etc.) misses the mark when he mistakes a murder for an accidental drowning.
Even though Colin Yately was dressed in a woman’s ankle-length dress when his body was pulled from the Solent, Horton has no reason to suspect foul play in the retired postman’s death. It isn’t until the next day that Dr. Clayton gives him the bad news: Yately was bashed over the head and deliberately drowned. By then, it’s too late to seal up Yately’s apartment on the Isle of Wight, which Horton inspected but left unguarded. Sure enough, when DCI Bliss sends him back after a thorough bollocking, he finds a manuscript missing. Also missing is Victor Hazleton, a retired office manager who reported seeing lights on the water the night Yately was most likely murdered. Horton had been distracted by his interview with Adrian Stanley, a retired police officer he thought might be able to shed some light on the disappearance of Horton’s mother some 30 years earlier. So he hadn’t pursued Hazleton’s lead. This omission earns Horton a further reprimand from Bliss, herself distracted by Operation Neptune, designed to thwart a possible caper aimed at the superyacht Russell Glenn has moored in Portsmouth Harbour. When Hazleton turns up in the trunk of a Morris Minor belonging to Yately’s friend, retired lawyer Arthur Lisle, Horton begins slowly but carefully to probe the web of crime that links these seemingly innocent pensioners.
A generally satisfying puzzler whose hero takes a little too long to connect the dots.