As Joan Dingham awaits release from prison, her former partners in crime - Beryl Andrea Barker (otherwise known as 'Baby'), Phyllis and Bee - prepare for her return with hushed excitement. Only one of the original gang is missing - Diana King, now deceased.
But even before the prison gates have been opened for Joan, another spate of murders rocks the town. And extraordinarily the corpses bear the very same markings as the bodies of Joan's victims years before.
Senior policewoman Charmian Daniels, assigned to protect Joan, is also put in charge of the new murder cases - and soon senses an uncomfortable echo of the past inhabiting the present. Is Joan responsible for these killings, or could there be a copycat killer on the loose . . .?
Then Diana King appears out of the blue. But she has been dead for years - hasn't she?
Jennie Melville, a pseudonym for Gwendoline Butler, was born and brought up in south London, and was one of the most universally praised of English mystery authors. She wrote over fifty novels under both names. Educated at Haberdashers, she read history at Oxford, and later married Dr Lionel Butler, Principal of Royal Holloway College. She had one daughter, who survives her.
Gwendoline Butler's crime novels are hugely popular in both Britain and the United States, and her many awards included the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger. She was also selected as being one of the top two hundred crime writers in the world by The Times.