In this riveting true crime account, acclaimed author P. D. James,
the "Queen of the English mystery novel" (Newsweek) joins
forces with historian T. A. Critchley to re-create the Radcliffe
Highway murders, a series of vicious crimes committed in 1811 ...
The scene is the London Docks near Wapping Old Stairs, a sinister
neighborhood where pirates were often hanged. The first victims
were two hardworking shopkeepers, along with their baby and shop
boy. Twelve days later and only a few blocks away, an equally
blameless pub owner was found together with his wife and servant,
victims of equal cruelty and apparent absence of motive. The serial
killings provoked nationwide notoriety and panic. With the
atmosphere and pacing of her best novels, James reveals the
rudimentary police system of Regency London coping with a major
murder investigation -- and crimes that rank up there with Jack the
Ripper, the Boston Strangler, and Son of Sam as the very symbol of
murderous and unthinking brutality.