London, June 1940. When the body of silent screen star Mabel Morgan is found impaled on railings, the coroner rules her death as suicide, but DI Ted Stratton of CID is not convinced. As he starts asking questions, it becomes clear that Morgan's fatal fall may have been the work of one of Soho's most notorious gangsters. When Stratton's path crosses with MI5 agent Diana Calthrop, they uncover a criminal network and a secretive pro-Fascist organisation.
"undervalued crime fiction for social history buffs"
After almost five years of conflict, London's exhausted inhabitants are living in a world of dereliction. War-weary DI Ted Stratton is no exception, but he cannot help being drawn in by his latest case. Called on to investigate when a doctor is found dead in Fitzrovia's Middlesex Hospital, Stratton soon realizes that someone involved is not who they appear to be. Meanwhile Jenny, Ted's wife, is working at the local Rest Centre.
"Great story and well read"
It is winter in London in the early 1950s: John Davies confesses to strangling his wife and baby daughter. It promises to be a depressingly straightforward case for DI Ted Stratton of West End Central. When Davies recants, blaming respectable neighbour Norman Backhouse for the crimes, nobody sees any reason to believe him. Davies is convicted and hanged. But after a series of gruesome discoveries, Stratton begins to suspect there has been a terrible miscarriage of justice.
London, November, 1956. DI Ted Stratton is investigating the murder of Jeremy Lloyd, a young man with a taste for esoteric religion. Stratton's enquiries lead him to Suffolk, where the mysterious Mr Roth has founded a Foundation for Spiritual Understanding. Apparently Lloyd had believed himself marked out for great things. But at the Foundation, Stratton meets 12-year-old Michael, who is proclaimed as the next incarnation in a long line of spiritual leaders. He is rumoured amongst Roth's disciples to have been immaculately conceived....
August 1958. DI Stratton has just been posted to Notting Hill. Stratton's new manor is rife with racial tension. The end of the war saw a flood of Caribbean migrants. Now, a decade later, working-class Teddy Boys are showing mounting hostility towards their black neighbours. Notorious landlord Danny Perlmann, a Polish refugee, is taking full advantage and is making a fortune off the high rents he charges. Caught in the middle of this war over rents and turf is Irene, a young runaway on the verge of going on the game.
In 2006, three-year-old Phoebe Piper went missing. Despite massive publicity, no trace of her was ever found. Seven years later, Molly Jackson, aged 10, finds her great uncle Dan dead in his bed. Molly remembers nothing of her early years, but she's been sure for ages that she is Phoebe. Now, finally, she has proof. Dan's death brings his sister Janice back to Norfolk where she's reunited with Molly's mother Suze, the daughter she gave up for adoption decades earlier.