Even dead, Angel causes nothing but grief. At least he does for his old friend Jacob Fox, who's just a musician - what the hell does Jacob know about the Soho vortex of whores, contortionists, drugs, ex-porn stars and boys forced to acquire a man's insight? Or about close-knit families and secrets and women who should have kept their hand on their ha'penny, whatever that means. Yet unwittingly, Jacob finds himself to be Angel's messenger in this world, the bearer of increasingly damaging revelations, caught where deepest loyalties and fiercest greed collide. Sure, he knows he should walk away, but that means leaving behind both responsibility and a rare chance of love. And having to turn his back for ever on the most powerful erotic compulsion of his life. Hard choices. Urgent needs. Desire for retribution. Perhaps Angel's real message is that no one is strong enough to escape.
Caron Freeborn was born into a working-class family, and with no academic qualifications went back to school in her late twenties. She is now a senior member of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, teaching English for several colleges in the university. Her first novel, Three Blind Mice, was published in 2001. She is thirty-eight.