Buying a coffee for down-and-out 'Alkie' Albie at Marylebone Station is Fran Varady's good deed for the day. But when the grateful Albie takes her into his confidence, Fran suddently finds herself launched on her second investigation. For Albie, though obviously fond of a drink and none too familiar with soup and water, is absolutely clear about one thing - he claims to be the only witness to the violent abduction of a young girl. Although the police scornfully dismiss Albie's story as alcoholic hallucinations, Fran is determined to follow it up. And her suspicions seem to be spot on when she is warned off by her old sparring partner, Sergeant Parry, and then approached by a boyhood friend of her late father's, distraught over the kidnapping of his daughter. But this is only the beginning of Fran's investigation - days later, Alkie Albie is found dead ...