Walker Hamilton was born in 1934 at Airdrie, Lanarkshire. His father was a coal-miner, and from him he inherited a love of books. He left school at fifteen, and did general office work, studying accountancy at evening classes, until his national service in the RAF, most of which was spent in a military hospital in Scotland. He was discharged on medical grounds after a severe illness. He then worked in a Glasgow brewery, followed by a spell as an office-machine mechanic, after which he had a variety of unskilled manual jobs. He married in 1960, and died in February 1968. This, his first novel, was first published in 1968.