Plot Revealed Below!
London, 1958. Inspector Michael Jericho of Scotland Yard is called to investigate a murder in Notting Hill. A young black man, Roy Marlowe, was shot on his way home from work at the local bus depot. Tension in the neighborhood between the black and white communities has been brewing for a while, and now it's about to hit fever pitch.
That very same night Sir Nicholas Wellesley is kidnapped from outside his gentleman's club on Piccadilly. The ransom note arrives the following morning and his wife, Lady Clare, has expressly asked that Jericho take the case. But there are explicit instructions: keep an extremely low profile; the kidnappers mustn't know that the police have been contacted; nothing should be done that might jeopardize the safety of Sir Nicholas.
A drop off point for the ransom money is arranged. On the other end of the line Sir Nicholas can be heard, pleading for his wife to help him, terrified for his life.
An attempt to place the drop off point under surveillance backfires when the kidnappers spot the police and get away with the money. When the kidnappers call they are furious. Jericho steps in and demands to speak to Sir Nicholas himself -- BANG!! Suddenly, violently,a gun has been fired and the line goes dead... What has happened?
Jericho's instinct is that Sir Nicholas is still alive -- until they find a body they are to presume nothing. It is discovered that not only was Sir Nicholas in massive debt but he also had a secret double life with a West Indian prostitute, Martha, with whom he had two children. When it is discovered that Martha's address in Notting Hill is also the very location where Roy Marlowe was killed, Jericho puts the two cases together -- there must be a connection.
Martha is arrested with her brother 'Shorty' -- a small time crook who had previously tried to blackmail Sir Nicholas. Martha was found with money and the suitcase used for the ransom trying to board a bus for the south coast -- was she going to meet Sir Nicholas there? Martha claims ignorance -- she was just doing what her brother told her to do. Shorty says his sister is a liar and he has an alibi for the night in question: Jericho himself, who saw him playing in a jazz band in Soho. Shorty is released.
Sir Nicholas's body is found in a shallow grave in the docklands. Soon after Shorty is found dead in a Soho alleyway -- both had been shot.
Sir Nicholas's son Edward comes forward and confesses to the murder of his father and Shorty. But Jericho doesn't believe him. The pathology report has come in and proves that Sir Nicholas died 72 hours ago -- he didn't die when he was on the phone to Jericho, he died almost immediately having exited the club. Edward couldn't have murdered his father because he wasn't outside the club -- he was drinking in Soho. Who is Edward protecting?
When Sir Nicholas spoke on the phone Jericho had noticed that Edward looked very surprised. The reason being it wasn't Sir Nicholas's voice -- it was someone doing an impression of him -- Shorty -- and anyone who knew his voice would not have carried on that conversation -- but Lady Clare did...
Lady Clare is arrested for the murder of her husband, Roy Marlowe and Shorty. She had always adored her husband, but he felt nothing for her -- marrying her purely for her social position. Shorty had tried to blackmail her, threatening to reveal her husband's double life with Martha -- he had shown her photos of their two children -- and it had broken her heart. She went to the club to confront Nicholas and drove him round to Notting Hill, wanting to meet and confront Martha -- but he wouldn't let her into the house. In her rage she shot him. On hearing the commotion Roy Marlowe ran over to see if he could help -- in her shocked and panicked state Lady Clare shot him in the face.
In exchange for money, Shorty helped her dump the body and then posed as Sir Nicholas on the phone. The key to the plan rested on the assumption that Jericho wouldn't stand quietly by and let the kidnappers get away with it -- he would jump in and provide Lady Clare with an alibi.
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