By Edward Marston

Might 1915. As zeppelin bombs fall on London and with the sinking of the Lusitania, anti-German hysteria reaches fever pitch and assaults on German immigrants surge. now not even the West finish of London is immune. Jacob Stein's bespoke tailoring enterprise comes below brutal assault, leaving his secure ransacked, his daughter, Ruth, raped and traumatized and Jacob useless. Inspector Harvey Marmion is distinctive to the case and faces an uphill fight to trace down the perpetrators, even as much as the chaos of front Line. yet was once the homicide as opportunistic because it first seems to be, or did anyone with a perilous grudge plan the assault?

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That will depend on even if you could retain a mystery. ’ Irene understood. ‘Oh, it’s anything for Dorothy, is it? ’ ‘Yes, it’s a brand new shawl – yet please don’t inform her. ’ ‘I won’t breathe a observe, omit James. ’ She smiled invitingly. ‘Is there whatever i will get you? ’ ‘No, thanks, expensive. ’ ‘I simply questioned why you’d rung your bell. ’ ‘Well, i wished to inform you ways happy i'm to determine you back,’ stated leave out James, ‘but I additionally had to go on a message. when you have been out, a gentleman referred to as. ’ Irene was once shocked. ‘Was he searching for me? ’ ‘Yes. I can’t rather describe him simply because my eyesight is all yet long gone. yet he had a pleasant voice and that i might inform from his demeanour that he used to be keen on you. ’ ‘Did he provide you with his identify? ’ ‘Of course,’ stated the outdated woman. ‘I made some extent of asking. His identify used to be Mr Gill – Mr Ernest Gill. ’ Irene’s center sank. They have been miles from their vacation spot once they first heard the continual thunder of artillery. As they acquired nearer, the sound grew gradually in quantity. The British Expeditionary strength was once present process a relentless bombardment and retaliating therefore. preventing good in need of Ypres itself, they tested that the regiment they sought had its headquarters in an previous farmhouse. the 1st individual they encountered was once a peremptory captain who taken care of their request with slightly hid hostility, arguing that Scotland backyard detectives had no jurisdiction over participants of the BEF and that their trip had consequently been futile. Refusing to be grew to become away, Marmion waved the letter from the warfare place of work less than his nostril and the guy finally gave them a few grudging cooperation. He brought them to significant Nicholas Birchfield, a portly guy with a neat moustache, bulging blue eyes and a peppery disposition. while he’d heard them out, Birchfield clasped his palms at the back of his again and spoke with clipped politeness. ‘That’s all rather well, Inspector,’ he started, ‘but your arrival is deuced awkward. As I’m certain you relish, we want each guy we now have. We can’t unlock of our squaddies at the foundation of what may well become a totally fake accusation. ’ ‘There’s not anything fake approximately it, Major,’ stated Marmion. ‘The younger girl in query was once raped. a physician proven it. ’ ‘He can have proven that she had sex yet that’s hardly ever facts of rape. we're all males of the realm, are we now not? ’ he went on with a ripe snicker. ‘This scenario is as outdated because the hills. a tender lady beverages an excessive amount of then offers herself willingly to an opportunity acquaintance. Later, whilst she involves her senses, the single method that she will account for the lack of her virginity is to cry rape. It’s occurred prior to 100 occasions. ’ ‘Well, it’s now not the case with pass over Stein. ’ ‘How have you learnt? have you ever spoken to her approximately it? ’ ‘No,’ admitted Marmion, ‘but I talked along with her mom. She was once capable of go at the appropriate info. ’ ‘Oh, so this can be the mother’s doing, is it? ’ stated Birchfield, amused. ‘That settles it in my brain. What mom believes that her darling daughter might sacrifice herself prior to marriage?

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