When World War II breaks out in London, young policeman John Hawke enlists in the army. His dreams of fighting for his country, however, are cut short after he loses an eye in rifle training. Invalided out of the army and offered a desk job with the police, John sets up as a private investigator in London instead, hoping for excitement and danger. In the autumn of 1940, John is engaged to investigate the mysterious death of a young woman. What is the connection between her brutal murder and the fading film actor Gordon Moore? Johnny also becomes involved in the plight of a runaway boy who may have witnessed something terrible.