This very readable first novel has a neat little coda.

Author: Susan Grossey

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, £7.99

It is 1824 and the real-life chief constable Samuel Plank, a runner attached to Great Marlborough Street magistrates’ court, is about to arrest banker Henry Fauntleroy on a charge of forgery, then a capital offence.

There is little doubt Fauntleroy is guilty but the decent magistrate John Conant is worried about what is behind this seemingly respectable man’s defalcation – and Plank is sent to find out. With his connections, he trawls through London’s financial and half-worlds to discover Fauntleroy’s secrets – and there are plenty of them. But will this be enough to save him from the gallows?

Based on an Old Bailey case of the time, this is anti-money laundering consultant Susan Grossey’s (pictured) very readable first novel, with a neat little coda. She is planning a second Plank novel and she will no doubt develop not only her hero but also the other characters who traipsed Regency London’s pavements.

James Morton is a writer and former criminal defence solicitor