This story is set in Newcastle in 1885 and centres around a newspaper investigation into child prostitution within the city. Henry Brookfield is a journalist engaged in some important investigation when he is murdered one night when going to meet an informant in a less than fashionable part of the city. With their mother dead, Marion, the elder of his two daughters, has promised to look after her younger sister who desperately wants to go to art school. Marion’s friend, Daniel Brady, who dreams of being a journalist himself, decides to look into Henry Brookfield’s death. The tale then twists and turns towards its final conclusion.
The author is following very closely in the footsteps of Catherine Cookson. The book describes the differences between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ and leaves the reader in no doubt of the difference between the social classes of the day. The characters are well drawn, the story moves at a good pace, and altogether I found it a compelling story although the final outcome was never really in doubt.