Goodreads ~ Purchase ~ Sample
1940s – England
Flames leap skyward from a blitzed factory in West Ham as an air raid destroys all in its path. When the blaze threatens neighbouring houses a volunteer fireman breaks in to rescue a trapped resident – but instead finds only the body of a young woman, strangled in her bedroom. For Detective Inspector John Jago the scene brings back memories of the Soho Strangler. He suspects this woman had a secret – that she is not what she seems – and that this may be the root of her untimely end. Investigation reveals a drunken sailor may hold the key to what happened in Joan Watson’s flat. But his information points Jago towards family jealousies, violence, robbery, and the underworld of political terrorism. Was Joan as innocent as her friends claim, or was she mixed up in crime? Jago must unpick multifarious motives if he hopes to reach the truth.
1940 – England
On the first night of the Blitz, a body is discovered in a van in the back streets of West Ham. DI John Jago is called to the scene and recognises the body as local Justice of the Peace and businessman Charles Villiers. Shortly afterwards a blast destroys the scene. Jago quickly establishes that Villiers’ wife and adult son Edward both have possible motives, and that there was a rift between Villiers and his brother Arthur. But as he begins the investigation, Jago is annoyed when his boss tells him to help an American journalist who’s writing about public morale – even more so when he finds it’s a woman, Dorothy Appleton. As Jago and Appleton follow leads, they realize that the dead man held many secrets, some of which reach back to World War I. Rather a lot of people wished Villiers dead – and an air raid is a good time to bury bad news.