Detective Inspector Tom Harper finds answers hard to come by in his latest, most challenging, investigation to date.
Leeds, England. March, 1895. The day after his release from prison, petty criminal Henry White is found stabbed to death at his terraced home on Copper Street. Pursuing enquiries in a neighbourhood where people are suspicious of strangers and hostile to the police, DI Tom Harper and his team find the investigation hard going. If anyone knows anything about Henry White’s murder – or the robbery that landed him in gaol in the first place – they are unable or unwilling to say.
At the same time, acid is thrown over a young boy in a local bakery in a seemingly unprovoked attack.
Praying for a breakthrough, Harper knows that he must uncover the motive in each case if he is to have any chance of catching the culprits. Of one thing he is certain: if he doesn’t find answers soon, more deaths will follow.
In Nickson's crackerjack fifth police procedural set in late-19th-century Leeds (after 2016's The Iron Water), Det. Insp. Tom Harper takes charge of two cases: the death of a man who has just been released from prison, and a horrific acid attack on two 13-year-old children. These draw him into a world of petty crime, poverty, and corruption. Meanwhile, the activities of Tom's wife, Annabelle, a dedicated suffragette and a proponent of the newly formed Labour Party, shed light on the inner workings of the Socialist movement and on real-life activist Tom Maguire, one of the unsung heroes of British political history. Nickson successfully creates an intimacy between the characters and the reader by showing, with each successive book, how his protagonists grow and change as they face life's milestones: marriage, children, promotions at work, and the death of dear friends. \n