A Dickensian murder mystery. A brutal modern-day gang. Can Helen Oddfellow outwit an old enemy – or will she be his next victim?
When literary researcher Helen Oddfellow finds an old newspaper clipping in an antiquarian bookshop in Rochester, she uncovers a Dickensian murder mystery. But her quest to solve the puzzle takes a dangerous turn when the bookshop owner disappears.
The 200-year-old report of a woman’s murder on the steps of London Bridge provides clues to the real-life inspiration for Nancy, one of Charles Dickens best-loved characters. As Helen investigates, she discovers the woman died because she knew a secret that the British establishment was intent on covering up. Now Helen knows… and the secret is still alive today.
Helen teams up with the booksellers’ distraught teenage daughter, and enlists help from a charming businessman who seems to have more than a passing interest in Helen herself.
As they follows the dead man’s trail, Helen discovers that the eerie marshes of north Kent are home to a modern-day criminal gang more brutal than anything Dickens dreamed up. On the bleak shore of the Thames estuary, she comes face to face with an old enemy . Can she keep Nancy’s secret from him, without sharing her fate?
Expected publication: August 2022
Long-listed for the Stockholm Writers Festival’s First 5 Pages prize.