'Maurice Procter is a born storyteller' Sunday Times
It looks like a trivial enough incident: a would-be petty thief makes his escape before he has stolen anything. But when the beat constable arrives to look for damage, he finds something he hasn't been expecting - a dead man, with a wound in his back made by a broad blade ... possibly a spearhead.
Scotland Yard get to work, following what turns out to be a very complicated business, especially when they find they are on the trail of smuggled diamonds leading all the way to South Africa ...
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.