A twist on an old Wild West theme set in wartime Leeds

as with his debut novel, Robert Dinsdale’s follow-up is set in Leeds.

But while The Harrowing – a tale of love, betrayal and redemption – was set against the fetid backdrop of the First World War, his new book, Three Miles, takes place during the 20th century’s second cataclysmic conflict.

It’s the second in a loose trilogy of novels set in the city. “I wanted to set it in Leeds because I lived there for five years and I know the landscape,” says Dinsdale.

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His new novel tells the story of one man’s attempt to escort a criminal to justice. It takes place during a single night, when the night watchman, Captain Abraham Matthews, a veteran of the First World War, catches up with Albie Crowe, the leader of a feared gang of petty thieves and draft dodgers.

“It’s based around the idea of old Westerns like 3:10 to Yuma where the sheriff tries to bring the villain to justice, only in this case it’s an old detective who has to ferry his prisoner to a watch-house three miles across the city during an air raid.”

There are obvious nods to the old Wild West with Abraham and his quarry holed up in an air-raid shelter waiting for the bombing to end and justice to come.

For Dinsdale it was an opportunity to take a classic good versus evil storyline and give it a twist. “I used to watch Westerns when I was younger and I wanted to take this idea and set it in England during the Blitz.

“I think when people talk about the Blitz, they focus on places like London and Coventry. But northern cities like Leeds were badly bombed by the Luftwaffe, too, and this often gets overlooked.”

Three Miles is published by Faber and Faber, priced £12.99.