Third in the fifteen book series about the CID Inspector. The first was “Hell Is A City” (“Somewhere In This City”) (1954) and the last was “The Dog Man” published in 1969.
This is one of my favorite English series. It’s a police procedural that never bogs down in the details and Procter keeps it interesting all the way through. In this entry an investigation is being conducted into a crooked stockbroker. A policeman is killed and now Martineau could be next.
He’s being followed. Martineau and Sgt.Devery brace the tailer. He says he doesn’t know who hired him. His instructions, with cash inside, came via an anonymous envelope. While this is going on Martineau has to deal with a con man who’s trying to frame him and get him kicked off the force.
The man put a deposit in his bank account hoping to give the impression that Martineau was taking a bribe. Even an old girlfriend tries a similar trick. He has the backing of his Superintendent and the trickery doesn’t work.
The investigation leads to other stockbrokers, some that make themselves scarce so Martineau and Devery can’t talk with them. Martineau nicknames the man behind the efforts to cause him misery Bashful. That light hearted outlook changes when Martineau’s house is set on fire. He’s inside along with his wife and three year old child.
The manhunt involves an old case that Martineau and the murdered policeman worked on. It also involved a crooked stockbroker. He was sentenced to jail but many years ago escaped and is still on the loose. Also in the mix is gangster Dixie Costello. One of his boys, Barry Hill, is dating the murdered policeman’s daughter.
Through the investigation to the conclusion it all makes logical sense and that makes for a good read. If you’re looking for an author you may not have heard of that writes quality crime stories check out Procter.