It’s 1940, and Britain is hiding in the darkness of the blackout – until Hitler unleashes the terror of the Blitz. His bombs rain down, and the night skies of London are lit up by fire. They say you could read a newspaper by its light.

Life changes overnight – suddenly it seems there’s death round every corner. But murder is still murder – and bombs or no bombs, for Detective Inspector John Jago of the Metropolitan Police the hunt for justice must go on.

The books are all stand-alone stories, but they are best enjoyed in chronological order, as below.

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The Blitz Detective

(Previously published as Direct Hit)

 

Saturday 7th September, 1940. The sun is shining, and in the midst of the good weather Londoners could be mistaken for forgetting their country was at war – until the wail of the air-raid sirens heralds an enemy attack. The Blitz has started, and normal life has abruptly ended – but crime has not. That night a man’s body is discovered in an unmarked van in the back streets of West Ham. When Detective Inspector John Jago is called to the scene, he recognises the victim: local Justice of the Peace, Charles Villiers. The death looks suspicious, but when a German bomb obliterates all evidence, Jago’s job to find the truth gets a lot more complicated.
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The Canning Town Murder

(Previously published as Fifth Column)

 

September, 1940. As the Blitz takes its nightly toll on London and Hitler prepares his invasion fleet just across the Channel in occupied France, Britain is full of talk about enemy agents. Suspicion is at an all-time high and no one is sure who can be trusted. In Canning Town, rescue workers are unsettled when they return to a damaged street and discover a body that shouldn’t be there. When closer examination of the corpse reveals death by strangling, Detective Inspector John Jago is called upon to investigate. But few seem to really care about the woman’s death, not even her family. As Jago digs deeper he starts to uncover a trail of deception and betrayal…
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The Custom House Murder

(Previously published as Enemy Action)

 

With London having endured the Blitz for nearly a month, people are calling for vengeance, but once again the night heralds more destruction. In Custom House, anxious residents dutifully head to the nearest public air-raid shelter as the warning siren wails. When dawn brings the all-clear, people disperse, but one man remains – he is dead, stabbed through the heart. Detective Inspector John Jago discovers that the victim was a pacifist. But why, then, was he carrying a loaded revolver in his pocket?
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The Stratford Murder

(Previously published as Firing Line)

 

October, 1940. Bombs are falling on Stratford when air-raid warden Sylvia Parks sees a house with a shining light, in clear breach of the city’s strict blackout rules. With no answer at the door she manages to break in, only to discover the body of a young woman, strangled to death with a stocking. For Detective Inspector John Jago, the scene brings back memories of the gruesome Soho Strangler, who murdered four women a few years ago but has never been caught – could there be a connection?
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The Dockland Murder

(Published March 2021)

 

November 1940. Darkness descends and another anxious night begins for those tasked with guarding the industrial heartland of London from enemy attack. As a policeman patrols the Royal Albert Dock, something catches his eye – a man is sprawled awkwardly across a nearby barge, a dagger lodged in his back. Detective Inspector John Jago discovers the victim was a dock worker by day and a Home Guard volunteer by night – and there are things even his wife doesn’t know about his past. As the investigation unfolds, Jago uncovers a widening circle of secrets ranging across family tensions, the last war and a far-flung corner of the British Empire.
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The Pimlico Murder

(Published November 2021)

 

Armistice Day, 1940. The nation remembers the Great War while a new and harrowing conflict rumbles on, and Detective Inspector John Jago of the Metropolitan Police must set aside his own painful memories to investigate a suspicious death in Pimlico, south-west London. A young man, Terry Watson, has been found in an Anderson shelter, battered about the head and with two white poppies in his pocket. As the investigation delves into Watson’s background, Jago and his assistant DC Cradock find themselves knee-deep in Pimlico’s shady underworld and connections with Mosley’s fascist party. It will take all their skills to discover the truth behind the young man’s brutal death.