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.
Skeletons are discovered in Cockpit Lane, a poor black area of inner south London, and DCI David Brock and DS Kathy Kolla of Scotland Yard's Serious Crimes Branch are called in to investigate. The discovery that the victims died on the day of the Brixton riots, over twenty years before, lead Brock and Kolla on a dark and dangerous journey into the heart of the West Indian community in London - a journey in which past and present come together in an intricate web of deception and intrigue, as Brock re-discovers the hand of a formidable old antagonist, Spider Roach.
In a desperate search to find a crucial piece of missing evidence, Brock and Kathy unwittingly set in train a series of events that end in a shocking, violent conclusion.