A novel of two halves, this story opens with Dr James Oldfield who finds himself caught one night in a police hunt. When he stumbles upon a policeman, struck dead by an unknown assailant, Oldfield determines to piece together what happened, and who Mr Kempster, (a man who turns up at the scene of the crime) may be. What unravels is a story of ingenious theft involving diamonds and the remains of an artist's body found in a kiln. In the second part, Oldfield engages the help of Dr Thorndyke and together they trace the work of the artist and a valuable stoneware monkey that hides an incredible secret. In the back streets of London amongst colonies of silk weavers, cabinet-makers and craftsmen, Freeman deftly entwines a cunning story infused with palpable suspense. From the father of forensic crime fiction, this plot is full of vivid detail.