How long does it take you to write a crime novel? Pauline Rowson discusses on completion of the eighth in the DI Horton series

It's always a scary moment when I press that send key and the completed MS for the next DI Andy Horton crime novel wings its way through the ether to my publisher, but yesterday was D Day and off DI Horton number eight went. I always think, could I have spent a bit longer on it? Should I have changed this or that?  But there comes a point when you've done all you can and it's time for a fresh pair of eyes to be cast over it.


II'm often asked how long it takes me to write a crime novel and I usually answer about nine months. I started writing the eighth in the DI Horton series on 13 April 2011 and five revisions later there it is completed, so just over nine months seems to be a comfortable timescale for me and allows me to have one crime novel a year published. I was also pleased to have completed this DI Horton bang on time because I promised my editor he'd have the completed novel in January 2012.

And what does DI Horton get up to in this new crime novel?  Ah, you'll have to wait a bit longer to find out.  Perhaps when my editor gives the green light on it I'll publish the title and blurb here. Meanwhile, number seven in the series, A Killing Coast, was published this month in hardcover, hopefully that will keep Horton fans satisfied until the next instalment.


Set in the Solent area on the South Coast of England

Published 26 January 2012 and in the USA 1 May 2012

'Deserves mention in the same breath as American procedurals (those by Ed McBain or Joseph Wambaugh for example) and their British counterparts... Peter Robinson and John Harvey.' Booklist starred review for Footsteps on the Shore


When a body is found floating in the sea off Portsmouth harbour, Detective Inspector Horton initially judges it to be an accidental death. Soon though, to his dismay, he discovers he’s got it very wrong. Accused of being incompetent by his boss, and with the head of the Major Crime Team coming down heavily on him, Horton wonders if he’s allowed his ongoing investigation into the disappearance of his mother over thirty years ago to cloud his judgement. With no clear motive for the murder, Horton is sucked into a baffling investigation that he is determined to resolve despite the odds. Not only does he need to find a brutal killer, but Horton now has to prove to himself, and others, that he is still up to the job.

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