22 May 2024

Creasey’s Characters:
Patrick Dawlish

Patrick Dawlish appears in 50 titles and was written under the pseudonym Gordon Ashe. This is a series of thrillers featuring Dawlish of Scotland Yard. Cases take him outside London, to America, and other eclectic places with hidden mysteries. Many of the stories also include his family.

Dawlish is a massive man with a face that would have been handsome if it had not been for his broken nose. He has a group of hearty, hard-hitting friends. The Dawlish novels are suspenseful thrillers which develop from amateur crime fighting to international anti-crime organised activity.

In his early adventures, Patrick Dawlish sometimes has to act outside the law in order to serve Justice. His first foray into crime solving is when he is drawn by chance into a vicious series of crimes and decides to solve them, bringing himself into sharp conflict with the law, represented by Inspector Trivett. Soon Trivett realises that Dawlish’s ‘hunches’ are logically developed ideas linked together at astonishing speeds and so grows a sympathy and support for the amateur.

During the war Dawlish becomes a powerful and famed MI5 operative, dropped into occupied Europe to help organise resistance against the Nazis. Sometimes he helps to smuggle prisoners across the English Channel. Trivett, now a Superintendent, often offers official support. Dawlish also met and married Felicity during the war.

After the war he is forced into an early retirement, settling in the English countryside to live a rural life with Felicity. He is no longer looking for trouble, but it inevitably seeks him out and he gradually becomes an unpaid private eye, often coming into conflict with the police and sometimes even Trivett. Felicity and Trivett lose patience with his anti-crime activities but they realise that this is the life he loves and desperately needs. Out of the blue he is offered the role of Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Crime at Scotland Yard, a task force designed to fight crime across international and even continental borders. He becomes Britain’s delegate to a world police convention. The world soon comes to know this dedicated group of international crime fighters as the Crime Haters.

Explore the Patrick Dawlish series here.