William Monk is not going to die, after all, in this Victorian pesthouse called a hospital. But the accident that felled him on a London street has left him with only half a life, because his memory and his entire past have vanished. His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective; the mirror reflects a face that women would like, but he senses he has been more feared than loved. One: THE FACE OF A STRANGERMonk is given a particularly sensational case: the brutal murder of Crimean war hero, Joscelin Grey, in his rooms in fashionable Mecklenburgh Square. It's an assignment to make or break an investigator who must pry into a noble family's secrets. Suggesting that his superior, the wily Runcorn, hopes he will fail, Monk returns to a world where he cannot distinguish friend from foe. Grasping desperately for any clue to his own past and to the identity of the killer, each new revelation leads Monk step by terrifying step to the answers he seeks but dreads to find.Two: A DANGEROUS MOURNINGNo breath of scandal has ever touched the aristocratic Moidore family. London's wealthiest and most influential can often be found taking tea or dining in the opulent family mansion of Sir Basil Moidore in Queen Anne Street. Now Sir Basil's beautiful widowed daughter has been stabbed to death in her own bed, a shocking and incomprehensible tragedy. Inspector William Monk is ordered to find her killer without delay - and in a manner that will give least pain to her family. Handicapped by his inept supervisor and the lingering traces of amnesia, Monk gropes warily through the silence and shadows that obscure the case. But with the intelligent help of Hester Latterly, he begins to approach the astonishing solution, step by dangerous step.Three: DEFEND AND BETRAYAfter a brilliant military career in India, General Thaddeus Carlyon finally meets death not in the frenzy of battle, but at a London dinner party, in what appears to be a freak accident. But the General's beautiful wife readily confesses that she killed him - a story she clings to even under the shadow of the gallows. Investigator William Monk, nurse Hestor Latterly and Oliver Rathbone, counsel for the defence, work feverishly to break down the silence of the accused and her husband's proud family; and with the trial only days away they inch towards the appalling heart of the mystery.