October 1940. The London borough of West Ham is in the grip of yet another night of bombing, and undertaker Francis Hancock is in the grip of yet another night of temporary insanity.
A veteran of World War One, Francis is forced by the nightly air raids to relive the trauma of the trenches, and all he can do is try to outrun the horrific flashbacks. So when he sees a man lurching through the rubble, screaming about being stabbed but with no visible wound, Francis dismisses it at the ravings of another lost soul... until the man's body turns up at his funeral parlour, two days later. Suspecting foul play, Francis feels compelled to discover what really happened that night - but he finds himself pitted against violent thugs, an impenetrable network of lies and his own fragile sanity.