Fifth in the author's richly satisfying series (Death Watch, etc.) set in late 19th-century London and featuring gruff, clever Sergeant Bragg and his staunch, quick-witted aide James Morton, star cricket player and escapee from the world of high society. Incredibly skilled bank-note counterfeits are threatening the financial institutions of the city. In a secret scheme designed by Bragg, Morton takes a new identity and infiltrates the small gang of counterfeiters. By this time a policeman has been killed, and an unsuccessful note-passer has been savagely murdered by his fellow crooks. Morton takes orders from the ferrety Beasley, is watched suspiciously by knife-obsessed giant Goulter, goes to bed with lusty Lily, and gets messages to Bragg through feisty reporter Catherine Marsden. An unlucky fluke puts Morton at great peril just as the gang prepares for their biggest coup, but rescue comes in time and all hands can celebrate a job well done. Solid, superbly plotted, with a touch more than one might want to know about counterfeiting but never a surfeit of the detail that defines character or the period ambiance.