May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner's Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict. The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs mean that the courtroom sees more than its share of unnatural deaths.
A young man's body in a Limehouse alley plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, the protection rackets of the notorious Kum Tong, and murder. As her investigations draw her into deeper danger it becomes clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman's noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs.
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