Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pauline Rowson's "Shroud of Evil"

Pauline Rowson is the author of the DI Andy Horton Series and of two stand-alone thrillers.

she dreamcasts an adaptation of Shroud of Evil, the eleventh in the Horton series:
On the wall above my desk are photographs of four men. They look down on me as I write my crime novels featuring the flawed and rugged DI Andy Horton and while two of the men in the photographs are dead and the other two are now too old to play DI Andy Horton in the movies of the series they all have one thing in common not only with each other but with Andy Horton – they have all been heroes.

Heroes have always fascinated me. It probably stems from reading so many thrillers and spy novels as a child. Then I married a hero, well he is to me, a former fire-fighter from Red Watch, Portsmouth, UK, who took many risks and saved many lives. It’s no wonder then that I turned to writing about a hero.

DI Andy Horton has been described as 'an especially good series hero, a likable fellow with plenty of street smarts and the requisite personal baggage - an abrasive supervisor (DCI Lorraine Bliss) and an antagonistic soon to be ex-wife.' Booklist (USA) and recently by a reader on Twitter, ‘He's an enigma, reliable but sometimes unreachable, a little lost, but knows what he wants! My fav. kind of DI.’

Heroes have to have flaws, after all they are human. DI Andy Horton is rugged, a maverick cop who hates paperwork and playing by the book which of course gets him into trouble with his superiors, particularly the ice maiden, DCI Lorraine Bliss, his boss in Portsmouth CID. Horton is prepared to take risks and is fearless in his search for justice. He's been raised in children’s homes after his mother abandoned him as a child when he was ten, which means he has a desperate need to belong, a need that is in some way satisfied by belonging to the family of the police and yet he continually finds himself on the outside. His experiences as a child have taught him never to trust and never to confide. He lives alone on his boat and rides a Harley Davidson.

So who would I get to play DI Andy Horton in the movies if I had casting clout? Every reader sees the character differently so casting the perfect hero is difficult, no it’s impossible. I wouldn’t know where to begin – except that Jason Statham’s name did come up when a producer was keen to develop the series for American television. Statham’s agent was duly approached but Statham had just been signed for another series. Sigh.

So who are the men on the wall, my heroes, who watch me while I write? They are, in no particular order of preference: Humphrey Bogart – think Frank McCloud in Key Largo, Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep, Rick Leland in Across the Pacific; Cary Grant – think Roger O. Thornhill in North By Northwest; Johnnie in Suspicion; Harrison Ford – think Indiana Jones, Dr Richard Walker in Frantic, Dr Richard Kimble in The Fugitive, John Book in Witness. And then there’s Roger Moore, my favourite James Bond and before that the enigmatic Saint (I loved those novels). None of these men look like DI Andy Horton (not to me anyway) but they have all played heroes and as I pen another crime novel they and the characters they have brought to life on screen from the pen of other writers inspire me and spur me ever onwards.
For more information about Pauline Rowson, visit her website, Twitter perch, and the DI Andy Horton Marine Mystery Facebook page.

Writers Read: Pauline Rowson.

--Marshal Zeringue