Throughout his life accountant Mike Shaw has played it safe, kept his head down, and avoided risk. His girlfriend Brenda is a secretary. Their idea of a night on the town is to visit the local pizza parlour. But when Mike meets Laura in a bar off The Strand, their lives are irrevocably changed. Small, sexy, smart — and utterly dangerous — Laura instantly spellbinds Mike and leads him into a world of moral depravity, dominated by the sinister presence of her powerful and rich father, Harold Benton. Dressed in safari suits, dining in West End restaurants, Benton drinks only the best of wines and whiskies, imitates Richard Burton, and quotes French poet Baudelaire at every opportunity. He is also without conscience, on a hell-bent mission to mould others to his likeness. Dispatching Baudelaire is about what can happen to the blandest of men when he is seduced by money, power and sex. As we follow Mike on his journey to the heart of darkness, we come to discover that there are few more dangerous animals than an Englishman off balance. Set against the paranoia of early 1990s post-Thatcher London, this is yet another addictive page-turner from Ken Bruen, author of the bestselling Vixen, The Guards and The Killing of the Tinkers — and one of the critically acclaimed greats of modern crime and suspense fiction.