As Miss Maggs made her way nervously home, a clock stuck one, the town’s lights were switched off and footsteps sounded behind her. She broke into a desperate run. Later the doctor pronounced that she had literally died of fright.

In a provincial town, who was there to suspect but the rowdy gang led by Nick Salter? But Nick’s young wife swore to an alibi for him and so Sergeant Brent – a trifle embarrassed as a beneficiary under the will of the deceased – must look deeper into a case in which teenagers might too easily be made the whipping boys for the crimes of others.