Alan Hunter was born in Hoveton, Norfolk in 1922. He left school at the age of 14 to work on his father's farm, spending his spare time sailing on the Norfolk Broads and writing nature notes for the Eastern Evening News. He also wrote poetry, some of which was published while he was in the RAF during World War II. By 1950, he was running his own book shop in Norwich and in 1956, he wrote the first of 45 George Gently novels. He died in 2005 aged 82.