A young girl has been murdered. Then another. Both blonde. A serial killer at work - or a copycat?
'Maurice Procter is a born storyteller' Sunday Times
Inspector Martineau has a nasty murder to solve: that of a blonde girl, aged just twelve. Martineau knows that child murder can be habit forming, that such cases encourage copycats. They have to move quickly.
But they aren't quick enough, and two days later, the girl's death is followed by another. Granchester Police redouble their efforts, yet the killer escapes them. Feelings run high: for the parents, neighbours and the murderer ... Then the police close in on Cherub - young, plump, his mother's darling. But have they got the right man?
Born in Nelson, Lancashire, Maurice Procter (1906-1973) attended the local grammar school and ran away to join the army at the age of fifteen. In 1927 he joined the police in Yorkshire and served in the force for nineteen years before his writing was published and he was able to write full time. He was credited with an ability to write exciting stories while using his experience to create authentic detail. His procedural novels are set in Granchester, a fictional 1950s Manchester, and he is best known for his series characters, Detective Superintendent Philip Hunter and DCI Harry Martineau. Throughout his career, Procter's novels increased in popularity in both the UK and the US, and in 1960 Hell is a City was made into a film starring Stanley Baker and Billie Whitelaw. Procter was married to Winifred, and they had one child, Noel.