Book cover design & photography: John Boden
In July 1975 Detective Inspector Frank Bridge accepts a difficult undercover assignment in the east end of London, without fully considering the implications. Finding and convicting the leaders of a secretive criminal network, involving pornography and prostitution, proves no easy task.
When some of the working girls go missing, gang boss Rab Wishart is the prime suspect, and Frank is given the job of bringing him down. But the terrible secret of Wishart’s success is well hidden, away from prying eyes, and beyond the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police.
In a world of prostitutes, pornographers, drug dealers, loan sharks, and corrupt police officers, the moral boundaries become blurred. As Frank begins to get close to the truth, things spin out of control. When his girlfriend is abducted, the search leads him north, towards a violent confrontation in a remote Scottish glen.
This book is an adult thriller. It contains sexually explicit scenes of an unusual nature, and violence.
I began writing this book after moving back to Norfolk in 2003. This was long before stories about the sexual relationships of undercover police officers hit the headlines.
The book is a fictional account of the first ever long term undercover operation mounted by the Metropolitan Police. They hadn’t done this kind of thing before, and they were learning as they went along. It wasn’t run by a specialist department, but by a forward thinking Detective Chief Inspector. Because it hadn’t been done before they hadn’t adequately considered the risks and the compromising situations their operative would be placed in.
Certainly the police are in a difficult position with regard to relationships. If an undercover officer isn’t in a relationship in this kind of environment, that can look odd. It is also a possibility that if relationships undercover are prohibited, then the targets have effectively been provided with an acid test for weeding out infiltrators from the police.
This novel goes one step further, and explores what happens when an undercover officer is suddenly presented with the opportunity to explore desires which he had previously kept hidden. At first it doesn’t seem likely that this would compromise the operation. But as in most noir fiction, one bad decision leads to another, and the inevitable descent into chaos begins.