From a New York Times–bestselling author, Charlotte and Thomas Pitt must solve the case of a young gentleman’s sordid murder—before an innocent man hangs.
The naked body of an aristocratic youth turns up in the sewers beneath Bluegate Fields, one of London’s most notorious slums. But Arthur Waybourne had been drowned in his bath, not in the Thames. More shocking still was that the boy had been sexually violated and infected with syphilis before he was murdered. Despite Inspector Thomas Pitt’s efforts to fully investigate the crime, the family closes ranks, stonewalling Pitt, leaving him to wonder what they are hiding. All evidence points to Arthur’s tutor, Jerome, as the murderer. The courts agree and Jerome is sentenced to hang. Pitt and his wife, Charlotte, don’t believe the answer is so simple. But if not Jerome, then who molested and infected the boy? To learn the truth, Charlotte uses her familiarity with the upper classes to draw aside the curtain of lies, while Pitt defies his superior and the boy’s family to follow a trail that leads him into the foulest streets of London through a web of deceit involving male prostitution and pedophilia. In a race against time, Thomas and Charlotte must find the real killer to save Jerome from the hangman’s noose. “When Anne Perry puts Thomas and Charlotte Pitt on the case, we are in exemplary Victorian company.” —The New York Times “When it comes to the Victorian mystery, Anne Perry has proved that nobody does it better.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune “The period detail remains fascinating, and [Anne Perry’s] grasp of Victorian character and conscience still astonishes.” —The Plain Dealer “Pitt’s compassion and Charlotte’s cleverness make them compatible sleuths, as well as extremely congenial characters . . . Perry has the gift of making [the Victorian era] all seem immediate and very much alive.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer “Few mystery writers this side of Arthur Conan Doyle can evoke Victorian London with such relish for detail and mood.” —The San Francisco Chronicle “Perry combines murder with a profile of the morals and manners of Victorian society . . . Murder fans who prefer their crimes with a touch of class should heat some scones and nestle back for the afternoon.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution “Perry’s Victorian novels attain the societal sweep of Trollope or Thackeray.” —Booklist, starred review “For readers longing to be in 1890s London, Perry’s tales are just the ticket.” —Chicago Tribune Anne Perry (b. 1938) is a bestselling author of historical detective fiction, most notably the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series and the William Monk series, both set in Victorian England. Her first book, The Cater Street Hangman (1979), launched both the Pitt series and her career as a premier writer of Victorian mysteries. Other novels in the series include Resurrection Row, Death in the Devil’s Acre, and Silence in Hanover Close, as well as more than twenty others. The William Monk series of novels, featuring a Victorian police officer turned private investigator, includes Funeral in Blue, The Twisted Root, and The Silent Cry. In addition to these series, Perry is also author of the World War I novels No Graves as Yet, Shoulder the Sky, Angels in the Gloom, and others, as well as several collections of short stories. Perry’s novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world and she has over twenty-five million books in print worldwide. She lives in Scotland.