No. 11 India Crescent is officially a dead address. Its absentee owner, General Tygarth, and his wife are reported to be living abroad, but it is so long since they have been seen in the town that few remember them.
Only one or two people recall its tragic story of domestic tyranny, ill-starred love and early death; only Mr Spree the lawyer knows that the old General has ordered the house to be closed for a certain number of years. Now, in a fortnight's time, the house is to be reopened.
But to Elizabeth Fetherstonehaugh, the young governess at No. 10, the night noises coming from the house next door are fast becoming an obsession ...