London, 1852- the world's capital city of crime; a city where murder and hangings are public entertainment, where reporters and balladeers vie with one another to be the first to the nest grisly, exclusive revelation. Among the panoply of killers awaiting execution is Chokee Bill, whose stranglins have set the capital abuzz. One of the balladeers, Henry Owler, is determined to have a true confession from the killer. HOwever, Chokee Bill claims he is innocent and that the real Fiend is still on the loose. Owler, enlists the help of one of London's leading investigative journalists, Edmund Whitty of the Falcon, to help him discover the real murderer before he strikes again. But fate has some other twists in store. The killer is closer than either one expects, close enough to touch in the fog bound streets. Is he the wraith of the imagination? Or is he the nightmare the public have dreamed and now made all too real? Is he The Fiend in Human Form?
As well as being a novelist John MacLachlan Gray is a many times award-winning writer and composer for stage film and television, including the phenomenally successful Billy Bishop Goes to War. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.