London 1870 Detective Inspector Rochester—Lord Riley Rochester—of Scotland Yard’s Detective Department and his sergeant, Jack Salter, are called to a high-end brothel to investigate the murder of one of its inhabitants. Her throat has been cut from ear to ear after the customers had left for the night and the doors had been locked, and no one admits to hearing a thing.
As Riley and Jack delve into the beautiful young victim’s background and the reasons for her fall into prostitution, an increasing number of suspects with compelling reasons for wanting her dead emerge. Riley is astounded to discover that his nemesis, Chief Inspector Danforth, is one of the brothel’s regular visitors. He was there on the night of the murder, spent an hour alone with the victim and must be viewed as a suspect. Riley could be forgiven for revelling in Danforth’s downfall after all the insults he has suffered at the chief inspector’s hands, but his concern is for the reputation of the Detective Department as a whole and so he does all he can to shield Danforth from public derision.
Unsurprised by the depths of depravity some men willingly sink to in order to find gratification, Riley is unprepared for the damage that could be done to the reputation of his own family if he doesn’t get to the truth. But at what cost to his personal ambitions…