A Cold Wind Down the Grey
In May 1866, a young surveyor was murdered in dense bush near Greymouth, New Zealand, not far from a track he himself had cut. His body lay in a shallow grave for six weeks, until a confession by a gang member revealed the site. Twenty-two years later, forced into early retirement by government cuts, INSPECTOR WILLIAM HENRY JAMES remembers the young man and the awful crime committed against him – the first in a string of murders by a vicious gang of ex-convicts from Australia. Inspector James still blames himself for forcing the gang out of his town, an action which led to the deaths of five more men. He ran the gang out of town before he knew exactly what they had done, making him more determined to convict the remaining gang member, JAMES WILSON.
In 2017, I took a two month trip to New Zealand to research the book bout Inspector James. I visited the graves of the murderers and the victims, and shortly before I returned to Canada, the grave to William Henry James. To the right is Inspector James' house in Whanganui, where my story begins.