Gorse is thought to be based on the real-life murderer Neville Heath, hanged in 1946.
Patrick Hamilton was born in 1904, and achieved early success as a novelist and playwright, his first novel published in his early twenties. He wrote several other novels and a play, Rope, before he was thirty. Both Rope and another play, Gaslight, were adapted for the big screen, the former by Alfred Hitchcock. His novels include Craven House, The Midnight Bell, The Siege of Pleasure, The Plains of Cement (a trilogy later published together under the title Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky), Hangover Square and The Slaves of Solitude. He died in 1962, aged fifty-eight, alcoholism undoubtedly a factor in his early death.
The entertainment value of this brilliantly told story could hardly be higher. - L.P. Hartley
A marvellous novelist who is grossly neglected. - Doris Lessing
A riveting dissector of English life. - Keith Waterhouse
His finest work can easily stand comparison with the best of his more celebrated contemporaries George Orwell and Graham Greene.- Sunday Telegraph
He wrote some of the best fiction…I've come across. - Dan Rhodes, Guardian