The bitter cold winter of 1732 is a season of death in Leeds.
Richard Nottingham, Constable of Leeds, is mourning the death of his daughter, one of many casualties of the frigid English winter. But his mind is diverted from his sorrows when a body is found, its throat cut and the skin removed from its back. The murdered man is Samuel Graves, a wealthy semi-retired wool merchant. His murder stirs up the mayor, who puts pressure on Nottingham to solve the crime quickly before anyone can learn the horrifying details. Following up on a list of employees fired by Graves, he comes upon the name of Abraham Wyatt, a clerk caught embezzling and transported to the Indies for his crime. Wyatt quickly becomes the chief suspect when a journal bound in the skin removed from Graves’s back is sent to Nottingham. The Journal of a Wronged Man, In Four Volumes details Wyatt’s agenda and makes Nottingham realize that he’s on the list of three other intended victims. Although Nottingham uses every colleague and every informant at his disposal, Wyatt remains invisible, and a second murder soon follows. Nottingham must use every trick of the trade to uncover the whereabouts of a clever, ruthless killer.
Nickerson’s follow-up to Broken Token (2010) is an exciting tale that explores the vast gulf between the rich and poor while delivering a first-rate mystery.