‘Gil North’s atmospheric writing shows the influence of Simenon, and Gunnarshaw’s finest, Sergeant Caleb Cluff, is a memorable detective – the Maigret of the Dales.’
Martin Edwards, CWA Diamond Dagger winner 2020
and author of Mortmain Hall.
When the police are called to a crime scene at a Gunnarshaw grocer’s shop, it looks to be a straightforward case of burglary – but not to Detective-Sergeant Cluff, whose subsequent investigations, following a boy’s brutal discovery of a dismembered body on the moors, force him to confront the most gruesome murder he has ever faced.
Cluff calls on his intimate knowledge of the folk of Gunnarshaw to push forward his investigation, but when events escalate and lives are under imminent threat, he must abandon his unorthodox methods in favour of immediate action – which even Inspector Mole must admire – but in doing so, and in his haste to bring the case to a close, he puts himself in great personal danger.
Gil North’s novels, which follow the investigations of Detective-Sergeant Cluff in the fictional and close-knit moorland market town of Gunnarshaw, were first published in the 1960s.
Gil North was the pen-name of Geoffrey Horne (1916–1988). He was born in Skipton, North Yorkshire, where his father was Town Clerk. Horne was educated at the local grammar school, then studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge, before embarking on a career as a civil servant in Nigeria and Cameroon.
He later returned to pursue his writing ambitions in his native Skipton – the inspiration for Gunnarshaw.