Horse to Water by Peter Bailey – Book Review

Horse to Water by Peter Bailey – Book Review

Horse to Water by Peter Bailey

Horse to Water

I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.

add to goodreads


David Taplin has been hiding his autism for years with a series of elaborate Rules. Unfairly blamed for a notorious police mistake he gets the last job he ever wanted, finding out who tried to blow up the man who stabbed him in the back. Taplin needs to solve the case, and fast.

Two of his bosses become targets of attacks, but puzzling new clues seem to paint an impossible picture.

Could someone inside the police force be responsible for the bombs? Or is something even more sinister afoot? When the evidence becomes overwhelming, David is forced to arrest the last person he would have suspected. But when the clues point, the police must act.

With scrutiny at an all-time high and unexpected secrets coming to light, a man loses his life and Taplin must fight a harrowing battle against disappointed and furious colleagues to unpick a case full of twists and turns before it alters the course of many lives for decades to come.

Review by Clive

Horse to Water is described on Amazon as “thought provoking” and it certainly lives up to that billing. Peter Bailey has published books prior to this but as far as I can see this is his first crime novel.

The book starts with the dramatic bombing of a senior officer’s car which DCI David Taplin is appointed to investigate. The initial storyline follows fairly routine police procedure but for me the fascination was the study of Taplin’s autism. Many of us will have come across such people with a phenomenal capacity to absorb facts and detail but who struggle to empathise with others. Taplin understands his condition and it was interesting to read what efforts he makes to fit into the workplace. Through his skills of method and memory he has attained the high rank of Detective Chief Inspector but it seems that his colleagues still regard him as somewhat different.

Bailey writes in an easy to read style, telling the story in the third person but almost exclusively from Taplin’s view.

I found it easy to follow the plot despite some sharp turns in the investigation. This aspect of the tale became more interesting with suggestions that the culprit could be closer to home. At this stage Taplin’s task became much harder and the more he learned the worse things became for him. Even at the denouement there were further twists in the tale.

Bailey has included a lot of police procedure. Most of it appears authentic although there were a few events that seemed unlikely in today’s UK policing. In particular Taplin carried out a number of informal one to one undocumented interviews and most surprisingly was allowed to continue an investigation which was personal to him. However I must admit that such actions helped maintain the high level of the drama.

I wish Peter Bailey every success with Horse to Water and hope that he can find another case for David Taplin in the near future. I have awarded four and a half stars.

Purchase Online:

Peter Bailey


Peter lives in England with his long-suffering wife. He originally trained as a teacher, but now supports Microsoft windows and ArcSight ESM. His first story was a fictionalized account of a disastrous trip to Las Vegas with a dental abscess. Since then, he has written a vampire story (without any actual vampires) and about a perfectly ordinary day at the office that will last for eternity. Walk in the Flesh is his first book, and possibly the only book based on a scene from the 1966 film Arabesque.

Author Links:

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these links, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links. All money received goes back into the blog and helps to keep it running. Thank you.

You may also like...