A Victorian Murder Mystery.
The filthiest of crimes . . .
The naked body of a teenage boy is found dead in the stinking sewers of Bluegate Fields. Enquiries prove that he was a sixteen year old aristocrat, that it was no ordinary drowning and that he shows unmistakable signs of syphilis. Not the best news for Inspector Thomas Pitt to bring to the parents, Lord and Lady Waybourne. Yet, surprisingly, they co-operate and a suspect is arrested - the boy's tutor.
However, Pitt is troubled by the tidiness of the case, feeling that when the upper classes close rank against inferiors, there is no such thing as "innocent until proven guilty". His quest for the truth uncovers child prostitution and deepest corruption. But only when his wife, the astute and aristocratic Charlotte, explores the case from a very different angle, can the shameful and sordid solution be brought to light . . .