Sequel to The Colours of Corruption and The Illusion of Innocence. The river Lea, 1902: Archie and his police sergeant pal Frank Tyrell must investigate the disappearance of teenager Lilian and the discovery of a corpse in the River Lea – Eleanor 'Nell' Redfern. Did her father’s ambitious plans to marry her to a rail magnate force her to run away to her watery doom? And Lilian Steggles, a star swimmer with her eye on the 1908 Olympics – why did she disappear from home and where is she now? Archie uses his artistic skills to identify Nell and track down her story. It leads him deep into the world of music hall, spiritualism, ventriloquism and the corruption beneath it, until a terrible secret is revealed.