Francis Pettigrew travels to Exmoor for a holiday with his wife - an area in which as a young boy he was traumatised by coming across a dead body on the moor. In an attempt to exorcise this trauma, Pettigrew walks across the moor to the place where the incident occurred - only to find another dead body. Moreover when he returns to the scene with the police, the body is gone. Did he really see a body - or is it a hallucination conjured up by his return to the scene of the crime that has haunted him since childhood? In Untimely Death, Cyril Hare conjures up an intriguing puzzle whose twists and turns will keep the reader turning the pages until the final surprising resolution.
Cyril Hare was the pseudonym for the distinguished lawyer Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark. He was born in Surrey, in 1900, and was educated at Rugby and Oxford. A member of the Inner Temple, he was called to the Bar in 1924 and joined the chambers of Roland Oliver, who handled many of the great crime cases of the 1920s. He practised as a barrister until the Second World War, after which he served in various legal and judicial capacities including a time as a county court judge in Surrey. Hare's crime novels, many of which draw on his legal experience, have been praised by Elizabeth Bowen and P.D. James among others. He died in 1958 - at the peak of his career as a judge, and at the height of his powers as a master of the whodunit.