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1944. After almost five years of conflict, London's inhabitants are war weary - and DI Ted Stratton is no exception.
After a long night digging a bomb victim out of rubble, he's called to investigate a doctor's death. The circumstances seem suspicious: an affair turned sour? Revenge? As Stratton digs deeper, he begins to suspect something more sinister is going on - that a faceless shadow is stalking the hospital corridors...
Meanwhile, Ted's wife Jenny meets a bombed-out woman claiming her soldier husband is an impostor. Jenny thinks she must be in shock, but the truth is stranger and far more dangerous...
Set in war-weary 1944 London, Wilson's second thriller featuring Scotland Yard Det. Insp. Ted Stratton falls short of the high standard set by its predecessor, The Innocent Spy, which won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award. When Stratton looks into the suspicious death of Dr. Reynolds, whose fatal head wounds might have resulted from foul play or a falling bomb, the inspector discovers that Reynolds may have been fooling around with the nurses at his hospital, and that the physician may have been negligent in the handling of several patients who ended up dying. Wilson alternates between Stratton's perspective and that of a psychopath who infiltrates the staff of Reynolds's hospital by posing as a doctor, James Dacre, despite the absence of any medical training. Dacre manages to avoid being found out for an unrealistic length of time, but that improbability is dwarfed by the over-the-top ending that vitiates almost all the emotional force of the novel's opening.