Victor Canning was a prolific writer, his first novel published when he was just 23. His later thrillers were dark and complex, and received great critical acclaim. The Rainbird Pattern was awarded the CWA Silver Dagger in 1973. In 1976 it was transformed by Alfred Hitchcock into the comic film The Family Plot. He also wrote pseudonymously as Julian Forest and Alan Gould. He died in February 1986 in Cirencester.