‘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.
Gunnarshaw is under siege. A peeping Tom prowls the streets and back yards, peering through windows, the police seemingly helpless to catch him. Then, a body is discovered in the garden of the local school’s head teacher, much to the dismay of his well-heeled neighbours.
But Detective-Sergeant Cluff’s investigation drags him away from the rugged moorland market town of Gunnarshaw and his cosy cottage, to the run-down back streets of Liverpool, where ponces and prostitutes ply their trade.
For once, however, Cluff’s judgement of Gunnarshaw folk, his once faultless perception of human nature, not to mention his compassion, are severely put to the test. And at what cost? Justice? What’s more, Inspector Mole is determined to trip him up. Is Cluff past his best?
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.