This is a dark story set in 1930's Brighton. Greene's main character is a small time gang member who seeks to revenge the death of his previous boss by the main gang in Brighton. He kills Hale, an informer for the other gang, and the rest of the story he sets about trying to give himself a watertight alibi by eliminating people who know and by forcing Rose, another girl who is aware of what he did, to marry him. At that point a wife could not give evidence against a husband.
Ida, a lady whommeets Hale on the last dya is alive is suspicions of what he did and seeks to find the evidence.
Greene manages to convey the despair and the squalor that existed in Brighton in this time. It is not a nice story at all, but Green makes it compelling.