Star Cleary – young, beautiful, but with a deeply troubled past – assists the late middle-aged woman known as Mother Mary at the East End Nine-to-Five Shelter for the homeless. The shelter is rumoured to be funded by Krait Beaney, the head of the feared London Beaney gang, who is definitely both a friend and minder of both Star and Mary.
Through a bizarre twist of fate, Star, while on an errand for Mary, helps an old woman who has been brutally attacked in the street. A day or two later, the same old woman is found murdered in her home and having been given a gift by the old woman for having helped her, Star finds herself placed ‘in the frame’ by the police for her murder.
Ever present is the escalating war between the two rival London gangs, the Beaney brothers and Johnnie “the Boot” Swann when Johnnie, in revenge for his having been disrespected by Krait, orders the savage murder of Stick Beaney, the Beaneys’ baby brother, who is both slightly physically and mentally handicapped.
Never test a gangster’s family honour.
It was no mistake that Krait Beaney was named after a deadly black Indian snake. Put one foot wrong where his family is concerned and he will strike out. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow nor the day thereafter, but strike out he will. And with deadly intent. Something Johnnie Swann was going to learn the hard way.