November 1940. Darkness descends and another anxious night begins for those tasked with guarding London’s industrial heartland from enemy attack. As a policeman patrols the Royal Albert Dock he stumbles upon a man sprawled across a barge, a dagger lodged in his back.
Detective Inspector John Jago of West Ham CID discovers the victim was a dock worker by day and a Home Guard volunteer by night – but there are things even the victim’s wife doesn’t know about his past. During the course of the investigation Jago uncovers a widening circle of secrets ranging across family tensions, the Great War and a far-flung corner of the British Empire.