Just before midnight, on November 6, 1882, the Halifax Poor House, an outsized Dickensian building situated in the south end of the city, caught fire and burned to the ground. Of the more than 400 inmates who slept inside that night, 31 people–the aged, the ill, and the insane–were all left behind, where they burned to death.
The fire was then, and remains still, the most deadly the city has ever seen. Two days later, conceding to a furious public outcry, an inquest was held to determine the cause of the fire and to identify those who were to blame. At least, that was the promise. Instead, as testimony was heard, a shadowy bias woven into the fabric of the city and times began to change the nature of the inquest, and the dark side of the age of Queen Victoria made itself felt.
From award-winning author Steven Laffoley comes another Victorian Halifax cold-case investigation, a thrilling exploration of a crime set in a time of the rapacious British Empire and American robber barons, of Social Darwinism and Jack the Ripper.