Victorian England hides a dark underbelly of misery and degradation along with a vicious murderer.
Chimney sweep Tom Wasp meets beautiful Bessie Barton when artist Valentine Drake asks him to pose with her. After her body is found in the Thames, Wasp vows to track down the killer. He discovers that Bessie’s been hiding for years from someone she called Moonman, a devilish figure who’s stolen her son and haunted her life. The night she went missing, she visited Valentine and three of his fellow artists, all part of a group known as the Angels, asking in vain for their help in recovering her child and protecting her from Moonman. Valentine, the last to see her, has been arrested and languishes in prison while Wasp, hired by Valentine’s lawyer, continues, with help from his young apprentice Ned, to search the squalid streets looking for answers. The Angels had used Bessie as a model for years, and one of them is almost certainly the father of her missing child. When two of Bessie’s sisters are murdered, Wasp is torn between suspicions of their father, who may have had unnatural relations with his daughters, and the Angels, who may have killed to hide their sins. His faith in humanity sustains him until he unmasks the killer.
Myers (Murder in Hell’s Corner, 2007, etc.) gets off to a slow start but eventually builds to a satisfactory climax.