The third book happens a year and a half after the second. Sally is settled in Twickenham with her toddler daughter Harriet. Jim and Uncle Garland are on a trek in South America. One day she is served divorce proceedings for being a negligent wife by lawyer of a random man claiming to be her husband. She is astonished. That soon snowballs into horror as Sally discovers the reality of her legal situation, that in Victorian times, a fake husband had the law on his side and could seize her bank amounts and transfer all her money to himself, seize her assets such as her business and home over to his name and claim custody of her daughter.
The author truly understands and reveals what lawyers and English laws can be like, with the pomposity, chauvinism, deliberate negligence and sabotaging of Sally’s case against her husband by the solicitor showing her fake sympathy while doing nothing and the barrister not wanting to meet her and telling her to shut up and be quiet and then destroying her case leading to the court ruling against her and issuing full custody of her daughter to this stranger. English lawyers, laws and the court system are still the same two centuries later and it is chilling how little they have evolved and are recognisable in the 21st century still in their Victorian predecessors form and structure.
Sally takes her daughter Harriet and goes into hiding. Her plight comes into the notice of a Jewish and socialist rebel journalist Dan Goldberg who was already investigating her fake husband’s affairs. Dan teams up with Sally and brings with him his network of London gangs to her aid. Together they uncover the tightly planned network of conspiracy to bring Sally down and who is behind the vendetta to destroy Sally and her life. I figured out early on who the old rival from her previous books is. Since there are only two previous books where one antagonist dies and the other disappears, it’s an easy deduction! But it takes Sally to the end of the book to figure it out.
This is a very good book and a page turner, much like the fist book in the series.