Anthony Walter Patrick Hamilton was an English playwright and novelist. He was well regarded by Graham Greene and J. B. Priestley, and study of his novels has been revived because of their distinctive style, deploying a Dickensian narrative voice to convey aspects of inter-war London street culture. They display a strong sympathy for the poor, as well as an acerbic black humour. Doris Lessing wrote in The Times in 1968: “Hamilton was a marvellous novelist who is grossly neglected”.

Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky
Patrick Hamilton’s semi-autobiographical trilogy set in working class, inter-war London.
Part 1. The Midnight Bell – London, 1927: Bob meets a prostitute called Jenny and Ella is invited to the theatre by Mr Eccles.
Part 2. The Siege of Pleasure – Prostitute Jenny tells of her fall from grace and Mr Eccles makes plain his feelings for Ella.
Part 3. The Plains of Cement – Bob gives Jenny an ultimatum and Ella confronts Mr Eccles.

The West Pier
Part 1: The Handbag. Three young men return to Brighton in the summer of 1925. Are they after a holiday romance – or something much more sinister?
Part 2: The Car. Gorse, a man without scruples reaches the climax of his deception.

Gas Light
Despite seemingly having every advantage and an outwardly doting husband, Bella is being driven slowly mad… but can the cause of her madness truly be her husband? What is the dark, terrible, secret lurking in his past, and where does he disappear to each evening? Left alone in her dingy parlour with the gaslight periodically dimming and the shadows surrounding her, is Bella really going insane? Does Police detective Rough hold all the answers? Will anybody be able to save her from her darkened fate…

Hangover Square
In pre-war Earls Court, everyone is frantically pursuing a good time, and George is obsessed by Netta, a bit-part actress and pace-setter of a fast-living crowd.

Two young undergraduates think they’ve committed the perfect murder. To add piquancy to their crime, they invite the victim’s father and other guests to a macabre dinner party.

Money with Menaces
On a hot summer’s day a Fleet Street tycoon finds himself under telephone threat of blackmail.

The Man Upstairs
Studious, gentle George Lumford was grateful to his friend Charles Waterbury for the loan of a furnished flat that he hoped would allow him to spend a quiet evening working on his dictionary. His hopes were not to be realized. A ring on the front doorbell and the pleasant tranquil scene soon becomes charged with an atmosphere of violence brutality and intimidation. Who was the strange Mr. Armstrong who appeared framed in the doorway? And why once he was admitted did he begin to adopt a sinister, menacing attitude?

To the Public Danger
Four people with very different backgrounds meet by chance at an English pub and gradually become carried away in an alcohol-lubricated bout of thrill-seeking (so far as that was possible in England in the late 1940s). When their spree gets out of hand, each person faces a moral choice with lasting consequences.