Fran Varady knows that making friends with down-and-out “Alkie” Albie Smith on Marylebone Station is not a wise move. But Fran is a soft touch. Albie has a disturbing tale to tell—he claims he’s witnessed the violent abduction of a young girl, in a distinctively-marked blue Cortina. So vivid is Albie’s tale that Fran overcomes her reluctance and reports the crime to the police, only to be sent away with a flea in her ear. But when Fran spots a blue Cortina with a white scrape, she is suspicious—and her suspicions are confirmed when she is warned off by her old sparring partner Sergeant Parry, and then approached by a self-styled friend of her father, distraught over the kidnapping of his daughter. Then, days later, “Alkie” Albie is found dead . . .