On 4 July 1975, Juanita Nielsen, a wealthy heiress, Sydney newspaper publisher and anti-development campaigner left an appointment at a Kings Cross nightclub and simply disappeared. For a quarter of a century, the Juanita Nielsen case has remained one of Australia's great unsolved mysteries.
‘An astonishing portrayal of criminality in the metropolis beautifully written.’ - Sydney Morning Herald
Chris Coates is a junkie, heavy drinker and criminal, trying hard to hold down the dockyards job he "inherited" from his dad, Jack. He had his first heroin hit "on a winter night" in 1975 and now it's the early 1980s. He tries - successfully, for a time - to kick his habit but is drawn back into its world.
Detective Briony Williams is a rookie appointed to an all-male team investigating a bizarre murder at the Anatomy School of Gresham College in Bloomsbury. The team investigates a killer obsessed with following in the bloody footprint of Jack the Ripper. A practiced anatomist with a theatrical streak, he arranges his victims' bodies in cruel parodies of famous satirical engravings by Hogarth, in particular The Reward of Cruelty.
This is the 20th and last of the Scobie Malone series, in which the famous homicide detective has been promoted to superintendent and investigates the murder of the personal assistant to Natalie Shipwood, the CEO of a Sydney development company.