Inspector Hartley is an officer in the Lothian and Borders Police, stationed at Waverly road under the command of CI William Anderson. He was part of the team investigating the Edinburgh Strangler, and initially was put on door to door duty with Inspector Gemmill. He headed up enquiries around the Haymarket Station, where he operated from a portakabin and worked above Jack Morton and John Rebus. Rebus described him as 'a nice bloke, his tongue just sharp enough for his tastes'. Later he drew up a roster of officers to question owners of blue Ford Escorts in the area, and he headed up that lead, assigning Morton to question Ian Knott (who later turned out to be the Strangler).