Whitechapel District, London ─ 1888
“Murder or no, I’m not going down that alley in the dark,” Constable Barnes insisted. “And you shouldn’t either.”
Inspector Cranford glared up at the man. “In-sub-ordin-ation,” he said, drawing out the word, rain running off the brim of his bowler. Having just returned from her Majesty’s service he’d been newly assigned to this latest in a series of brutal murders in White Chapel Alley.
“Begging your pardon, Inspector, no one who goes into that alley after dark has come out alive. You’ll not be getting anyone to go in there tonight. Best wait for daybreak.”
“I’ll have your pension, man!” He turned to Constable McBurn, who shrank back toward the street lamp.
“Inspector, I have four children,” McBurn begged. “We can go when it’s light and no harm done.”
“No harm done,” the inspector thundered. “Why, the rats will have been at the remains by then. This downpour will wash away evidence.”