The Ipswich Prostitute murders of 1906 helped inspire Haringey author David Cato-Evans’ chilling debut historical thriller


Juliette, a young mother of two, teaches piano and flute whilst also helping with the family antique business.

Needing extra income, Juliette is drawn into a dangerous money laundering operation where she begins to lead a life filled with secrets and lies. Her father, a professional criminal, is in hiding from a rival crook, who threatens Juliette and her children, to force him out of hiding.

Desperate to protect her family and traumatised by past events, she becomes obsessed by the need for justice – or is it revenge? Juliette’s mental health becomes more and more unstable and when her actions lead her to a confrontation with a ruthless gang, who are involved in several illegal activities, she becomes the prime suspect for a murder.

In a desperate effort to survive, can Juliette outwit the police and the forces intent on bringing her down?

David Cato-Evans is a lifelong reader of thrillers as well as literary fiction. Having spent many years wanting to be a writer, but thwarted by the need to earn a living, he has at last made the dream come true. He lives in North London with his partner and two cats.

David explains: “The story is set in and around Ipswich, and the Ipswich prostitute murders of 1906 give some real-life background to my fiction. I wanted a town for The Music Teacher where people seemed generally comfortable to contrast with the criminal activity I had in mind. I visited the town in the early stages, scribbling in my notebook – sitting on a bench in Christchurch Park where Juliette would collect a bag of cash from Tim, having lunch in the pub where Juliette meets Glynis, followed by coffee in the café where Juliette meets Lara, and, in flashback, met Tim to initiate the money laundering.

The Ipswich prostitute murders were a very big media story in 2006. Five sex workers were murdered between October and December 2006. I believe that Steve Wright (aka ‘The Suffolk Strangler’, convicted of all 5 murders in 2008) was the killer and there has been no miscarriage of justice. But I’m intrigued by an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that was current at the time: one of the women was a threat to the powerful criminals managing the operation and was killed to silence her. The other women were murdered to make it look like the work of a deranged serial killer. How could I take this and apply it to fiction? It was an interesting challenge and I tried to be as respectful to the real-life victims as my fictional ones.”

RELEASE DATE: 28/04/2024 ISBN: 9781805142737 Price: £9.99

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