On a hot summer day in 1938, a beautiful actress is murdered on the grand Kent estate of Sir jack Jessup, close friend of the Prince of Wales. The arrest of an ex-convict and his subsequent confession swiftly bring the case to a close, but in 1949, the reappearance of a jade necklace raises questions about the murder. Was the man convicted and executed a decade before truly guilty? Though retired from the police force, former Scotland Yard detective John Madden is persuaded to investigate the case afresh. In a story of honour and justice his quest takes Madden through the idyllic English countryside and the postwar streets of London into the criminal underworld of the Chinese Triads before he discovers the truth.
On a quiet afternoon in 1947, retired deputy bank manager Oswald Gibson is shot in the head while fishing in the Sussex countryside. In Scotland, a respectable family doctor is killed in the same manner -- and with the same gun. What is the connection? Detective Inspector Billy Styles is baffled until a letter from Gibson is discovered that might shed some light on the case -- a letter concerning former Scotland Yard detective John Madden. Despite Madden's legendary memory, he has no recollection of meeting Gibson or any idea of what their relationship might have been. Madden is happily retired from police work, but agrees to help his former colleague, and the clues they uncover only deepen the mystery. When a third man is killed in a similar fashion, Madden and Styles find themselves in a race against time to find the killer before another man ends up dead. A tense, intricately plotted mystery, this is the fourth title in the critically acclaimed and much loved John Madden series.
With rich psychological insights and vivid historical details, this riveting novel in the John Madden series is a masterpiece of crime fiction.
"It's the tactics and the terrain, the morale and the characters, that make the difference between an average thriller and one as good as this."
--New York Times
"Unnerving... from a richly textured background, Airth draws a vivid cast of full-bodied characters and a plot that satisfies."
--New York Times