The first of three classic police thrillers featuring detective Nick Miller, set in London’s seedy underworld.
Ben Garvald is out of prison. After nine years in prison, he’s coming back to the old neighbourhood. Back to his remarried ex-wife. Back for revenge. That’s what the cops think.
But Detective Sergeant Nick Miller isn’t worried. His highly unorthodox methods are perfectly suited for the graveyard shift – the midnight hours when the driven and desperate come out to play. Tonight, Nick Miller’s toughest opponent will be Ben Garvald…
And only one of them will live to see the dawn.
‘Open a Jack Higgins novel and you’ll encounter a master craftsman at the peak of his powers … first-rate tales of intrigue, suspense and full-on action.’
‘Higgins is a master of his craft.’
‘A thriller writer in a class of his own.’
‘The master craftsman of good, clean adventure.’
About the author
Jack Higgins lived in Belfast till the age of twelve. Leaving school at fifteen, he spent three years with the Royal Horse Guards, and was later a teacher and university lecturer. His thirty-sixth novel, The Eagle Has Landed (1975), turned him into an international bestselling author, and his novels have since sold over 250 million copies and been translated into sixty languages. Many have been made into successful films. He died in 2022, at his home in Jersey, surrounded by his family.
Previously published in England under Higgins's real name, Harry Patterson, this 1960s police thriller is the first of three featuring Detective Nick Miller to be released in the United States. Ben Garvald, a notorious thief, is finally getting out of prison, much to the dismay of his former wife and sister-in-law, who go so far as to enlist police protection. While Miller, an educated officer versed in judo and karate, tracks Garvald, hoping that the ex-con will lead him to stolen money never recovered from his final crime, Detective Constable Brady, a jealous colleague of Miller's, secretly confronts Garvald's ex-partner in an effort to solve the case himself. Instead, Brady winds up in a hospital bed, and Garvald, having witnessed the attack, becomes a target. Despite Miller's sophisticated front, he muscles information out of Garvald's acquaintances with the finesse of a hardboiled detective. Miller's abrasive personality takes some getting used to, as does his way with words (like a true '60s detective, he refers to women as "birds" and "tarts"). Though mystery buffs will appreciate the Mickey Spillane-like characters and cadence, this straightforward procedural lacks the espionage elements and historical content of Higgins's bestselling novels (The Eagle Has Landed) and may prove too dated for popular consumption.