Maurice Leitch

The Eggman's Apprentice
  • The Eggman's Apprentice

  • Orphaned at a cruelly young age, little Hugo Dinsmore is torn from his pampered life and plunged into the nightmare world of brutish country relatives, a world where his refined ways and small stature are a constant source of mockery and torment. Survival means learning to be sly, and Hugo soon finds his talents for retribution and petty thieving. His pure singing voice soon brings him to the attention of the Eggman, a much-feared local gangster who gets Hugo to perform for him and his cronies at their late-night poker sessions. Hugo becomes a well-dressed mascot, travelling with the Eggman and his enforcers in the back of a pink Cadillac. Gradually he breaks away from his old, wretched life, but as the Eggman's grip tightens and a criminal price must be paid for all the fine clothes, Hugo decides to make a spectacular and hazardous break for freedom.

Maurice Leitch was born in County Antrim and educated in Belfast. His first novel, The Liberty Lad, was published un 1965, followed by Poor Lazarus, winner of the 1969 Guardian Fiction Prize. Silver's City won the Whitbread Prize for Fiction in 1981. He has also written radio plays, short stories, television screenplays and documentaries. He lives in North London with his family.