1929. A girl is strangled in a London alley, the mangled corpse of a peeping Tom is found in a railway tunnel and the details of the latest trunk murder are updated hourly in the evening papers.
Into this world steps Dora Strang, doctor's daughter and filing clerk to the country's pre-eminent pathologist, Alfred Kemble.
Thrilled by the post-mortems and court cases, Dora is further fascinated by Kemble himself, a glamorous and enigmatic war hero.
But her job holds several surprises and as things take a distinctly ghastly turn the tabloid journalists sharpen their pencils in morbid anticipation...