Detective Nick Belsey needs help. Something happened last night - something with the boss's wife - and Belsey needs to get out of London, and away from the debt and the drink and the deceit. Collecting his belongings back at Hampstead CID on what should be the last day of his career, Belsey sees a missing person's report. But this one's different; this is on The Bishop's Avenue, one of the most expensive streets in the city. Belsey sees a chance for a new life. But someone else got there first.
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London is steaming under a summer of filthy heat and sudden storms – and Detective Nick Belsey, of Hampstead CID, is trying to stay out of trouble. But then somebody sets him a riddle. How does a man walk into a dead-end alley and never come out? How does he disappear? And then reappear – to snatch a girl, to dump a body beneath a London skyscraper, to send Belsey a package of human hair.
Amber Knight is London's hottest ticket - pop star, film star, front-page gossip. Nick Belsey is less celebrated. He can't shake his habit of getting into serious trouble. His career at Hampstead CID is coming to a dishonourable end. He is currently of no fixed address. But a knock on the door is about to lead Belsey straight into the hollow heart of Amber's glittering life - a world populated by the glamorous and the lonely, the desperate and the obsessed. A deadly combination.