Sergeant Charmian Daniels of the Deerham Hills police force was at Midport University on a three-fold mission-to lecture to local police cadets, to keep an eye on student trouble-makers and to start a diploma in criminology. The subject of her thesis was already forming in her mind-the new kind of killer. The population was growing younger all the time; given a decade or two, statistics would show that one man in three would have a violent act in his past. Society was creating a new kind of killer, casual, committing murder almost without thought. And in the world of the future, Charmian knew that woman stood a better than average chance of being victims. What she didn't know was that even as she thought about the new pattern in crime, the ominous statistics for it were already being proven on dangerously close ground.
Jennie Melville, a pseudonym for Gwendoline Butler, was born and brought up in south London, and was one of the most universally praised of English mystery authors. She wrote over fifty novels under both names. Educated at Haberdashers, she read history at Oxford, and later married Dr Lionel Butler, Principal of Royal Holloway College. She had one daughter, who survives her.
Gwendoline Butler's crime novels are hugely popular in both Britain and the United States, and her many awards included the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger. She was also selected as being one of the top two hundred crime writers in the world by The Times.