A Fawcett Book

Published by The Random House Publishing Group

Copyright © 1997 by Anne Perry

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Fawcett Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

Fawcett is a registered trademark and the Fawcett colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.


Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 97-97089

eISBN: 978-0-307-76767-7


To my mother, for her courage and belief,

and to Meg MacDonald for her friendship,

her good ideas, and her untiring constructive comments



Other Books by this Author

Title Page



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12


PITT STARED DOWN at the body of the man lying on the stones of the alley. It was a gray October dusk. A few yards away on Oxford Street the carriages and hansoms were whirling by, wheels hissing on the wet road, horses’ hooves clattering. The lamps were already lit, pale moons in the gathering darkness.

The constable shone his lantern on the dead face.

“ ’E’s one o’ ours, sir,” he said with tight anger straining his voice. “Least ’e used ter be. I know’d ’im. That’s why I sent for you personal, Mr. Pitt. ’E went orff ter summink special. Dunno wot. But ’e were a good man, Denbigh were. I’d swear ter that.”

Pitt bent down to look more closely. The dead man—his name was Denbigh, according to the constable—looked

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