It is winter, 1949. London is cold and grey, and pock-marked everywhere with the scars of war. When John Davies confesses to killing his wife and baby daughter in their Notting Hill digs, it promises to be a depressingly straightforward case for DI Ted Stratton of West End Central. But then Davies recants and blames a fellow tenant, Norman Backhouse, for the crimes. Though some of the evidence appears to be ambiguous, Stratton sees no reason to believe him. |
The case against Davies proceeds: he is convicted, still protesting his innocence to the end. A few months later discoveries are made at Davies's old home. Backhouse has vanished, but his flat and garden are full of the corpses of women who have been gassed, raped and strangled. Has Stratton caused an innocent man to hang? Worse still, he's afraid that someone he loves may be the next victim.