Barry Maitland was born in Scotland and grew up in London. He pursued a career in architecture, writing a number of books on architecture and urban design. In 1984, he emigrated to Australia, where he took up the position of Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. He retired from the University to write full time in 2000. He lives in Australia. The first of his crime novels was published in 1994. They feature Detective Chief Inspector David Brock and his colleague, Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla, and are set in London.
The phone call comes on a Sunday, the day before homicide detective Kathy Kolla is to start her new job at New Scotland Yard, Serious Crimes Branch. But the grotesque murder that it heralds in a peaceful London suburb takes no account of the day of rest and promises a dramatic start to Kathy's new life. In fact, dramatic is the word when her only - improbable - lead draws her to an amateur drama group.
As Kathy investigates further she is lured into a piece of theatre over which, increasingly, she has little control. And as the show unfolds, a plot of brilliant complexity is revealed, escalating with gathering suspense to a climax in which Kathy's own painfully hidden past plays a shocking role.