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The House in Holywell Street

405 pages6 hours


Captain Adam Harkaway is wounded at Spion Kop, a famous battle in the South African or Boer War. Invalided out of the army, he returns to London in the spring of 1900, with nothing to do and no income – or, rather, he has one debt to pay. His life had been saved by a fellow officer, a Lieutenant Glover, who in saving Adam’s life lost his own ...

Adam volunteers to deliver a letter Glover wrote before the battle to his sweetheart. The only problem is, according to the lieutenant’s father, the girl his son loved is dead of brain fever. Adam is unconvinced, particularly when he discovers the lovers were half-brother and half-sister.

To complicate things for Adam, his casual interest in a house in Holywell Street – a slum between the Strand and the Thames – leads him to be suspected of murder. The house is a brothel in which the bodies of several women are discovered, all showing signs they were tortured, perhaps for the pleasure of perverted clients.

Adam is not completely friendless. In South Africa he had become friends with Jack Churchill – Winston’s brother – who has also been wounded in battle. He has also meets and falls for a rich American, Laura Carlyle.

With the help of his new friends, Adam sets out to solve the murders at the house in Holywell Street and soon finds himself facing greater dangers than any he had met in war.

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