London's seamiest slip is showing in this novel which concentrates on reeking odors, shrieking shop girls, sleazy sex and savage criminals. Vic Dakin, psychopath, has built an empire on fear. He's a homosexual sadist whose first love is Mum. One unwilling object of his affection is Lissner, small time but tough gambler/henchman who is forced into Vic's benevolent boudoir. Vic's power-structure stretches from West End to Parliament with a patsy in MP Draycott, so-called ""liberal"" leader who extends his liberalism to excessive orgiastics. The hook is really put into Draycott through Nan Rizzolo, a magistrate's exwife who pays off a syndicate gambling debt by attending one of Draycott's. . . house warmings, shall we say? Trying to keep up with all this is a very busy bobbie, one Matthews, whose wife and children are eventually threatened. But eventually Vic's mob botches a job and blood will out. The characters are catch-all shakedowns. . . prototypical and the plot is hardly deeper than the assorted cuts, bruises and maimings sustained and maintained throughout.