Autumn 1936: The body of an MI5 agent is found in a doorway in Whitechapel. The last man to see him alive was ‘Colonel Z’, the mysterious head of a secret rival organisation to MI6. Does he hold the key to the man’s death? The first official at the East End crime scene is Dr Isaac, a local doctor and undercover MI5 agent. It soon emerges that the real cause of Leonard’s death must be covered up to protect the rest of the network. Signing off the case as ‘death by natural causes’, the body is removed to a safe mortuary. But how long can his death be hushed up? Only one person has the answer but doesn’t know it – Elizabeth Thomas, the dead man’s niece. Joseph Henry Thomas, a decorated WWI veteran and brother of the dead man, is fiercely patriotic and believes that only ‘the Fascist cause’ can solve England’s political and fiscal misfortunes. From Erin Manor, he heads the West Sussex branch of the British Union of Fascists and regularly participates in Nazi-style rallies. A close friend of Oswald Mosley and his socialite fiancé Diana Mitford, Joseph becomes involved in politics at the highest level – travelling with them to meet Herr Hitler just a week before the Cable Street riot. His daughter, Elizabeth, finds herself inadvertently thrown into a tangled web of extreme right-wing politics at Erin Manor. With her father away on a visit to Nazi Germany, she is tasked with identifying the body of her dead uncle in London. Dr Isaac is dispatched by MI5 headquarters to get close to her and embarks on a heady romance, but things don’t go according to plan. Soon, his own past clashes with hers in an extraordinary turn of events. Dr Isaac discovers a secret that threatens to bring devastating scandal on the family of the woman he has now come to love. Should he act on the intelligence? Or protect Elizabeth at all cost? Coming face to face with the dark secrets of Erin Manor, is Elizabeth prepared for the sacrifice that has to be made?
The novel vividly captures the world of the East East in 1936 at a time when events are taking a turn in Europe with Adolf Hitler re-arming Germany and ingraining German nationalism with racial anti-Semitism. In a number of twists and turns, J.H Schryer’s plot moves dramatically against the backdrop of Fascism and Right-wing politics in the 1930s.