Catherine Sloper, a young and beautiful heiress with everything to live for, has been brutally murdered in New York. Harry Ramsay, Pinkerton Detective, is given the job no one else wants – to pursue her sadistic killer across the Atlantic to London.
The year is 1888. His journey takes him to London’s notorious East End, populated by desperate women and broken men. Who can be trusted in this labyrinth of dimly-lit backstreets? Ramsay encounters prostitutes, pimps and violent criminals. There are women like Marie Morgan, an actress fallen on hard times, and Helen Lynch who is looking for the mother she has not seen in 15 years. These women tell him they need his help but are they drawing him deeper and deeper into a trap?
The East End is beyond the reach of the law and The Old Nichol Gang treat everyone as mugs to be conned or robbed. Jack the Ripper roams these gaslit streets at night, leaving the bodies of his victims in the gutters and scavengers pick the pockets of the dead. Then there is the solitary figure that no one talks about yet everyone is afraid of: the strange Mr Hyde.
His search has led Harry Ramsay into this cesspit of deceit and despair. Can he find his way past the charlatans, cheats and racketeers to smoke out Catherine’s killer in this city of the dreadful night?