Set in Victorian England this novel chronicles the investigation of a murder. Inspector Thomas Pitt leads a polce hunt around central London after a body is found manacled to a punt. The body is male dressed in women's clothing.
The Inspector's wife, Charlotte is on holiday in Paris with relatives and his children are enjoying a break by the sea. With plenty of solitude at his disposal the Inspector delves into the murky underworld of the capital in order to solve the murder.
As he progresses there are revelations of his wife's family. Family secrets hidden for many years, causing much anguish, are eventually aired , bringing with them much shock and horror.
'Grandmama could hear her own heart beating. She was holding her breath, as if that could somehow stop him from answering. This was her worst nightmare come back no longer a dream...'
With this disclosure of family secrets the story highlights the differnce between the older Victorian generation and the young people of the age and consequently passions are inflamed in many circles.
'You may have the maid bring my dinner upstairs to me. You would be well advised to spend the rest of the afternoon considering your behaviour, and your loyaties to the husband you have elected to marry. Not that you ever took advice!'
As his enquiries lead him further into the back streets of London Pitt finds himself drawn into the world of theatres and artists and through much searching discovers a solution to the murder in a most unlikely place.
This novel had a good ending ; an unexpected ending. It was a good read. I read this book as my final choice in the