Jessica Clarke had been set alight twenty years ago. Her attacker, quickly tracked down and eager to confess, is still in jail, his career as a hitman for North London gangs now well behind him. So who is harassing Carol Chamberlain, the arresting officer, and claiming that he is one who burned the girl? Now retired, Carol turns to DI Tom Thorne for help. Thorne is up to his neck investigating a series of killings which appear to be the result of a turf war between rival gangs, and he's fed up to the gills with reporting to DCI Tughan, so helping Carol out looks like a good deed in a naughty world. Only the world is about to turn much nastier, so nasty in fact that he finds himself longing for a straightforward psycopath to hunt down. This is a powerful work, exploring the effects of violence and greed on the lives of those who exploit their fellow beings.