Spearman sprawled on the couch, his shirt open, his legs apart. The two young men, naked, writher and rubbed themselves against him, gently tugging his clothes away, piece by piece: his shirt, his trousers, his undergarments.
I watched entranced until Spearman too was quite naked. Then I felt a hot rush of breath on my neck, and from behind me a hand slid across my thigh.
Walter Starling - newly engaged as a footman in the house of Dr Richard Reynard - is shy, naïve and religiously inclined. His sheltered upbringing hasn't prepared him for the world he encounters hidden behind the façade of upper-class Victorian respectability.
Dr Reynard, dashing bachelor and celebrated London surgeon, is bored of the empty rituals of high society. Under the influence of Lord Spearman, a degenerate and predatory socialite obsessed with pain and domination, Reynard is introduced to the dark underworld of homosexual London - a world of secret brothels and flagellation houses, of encounters in dark doorways, of bizarre sexual cabarets performed in the dead of night.
But as Spearman draws him into ever more extreme forms of sex, Reynard finds himself turning to his young servant for protection. And Walter Starling finds his firmest principles under siege from without and within as he battles with his growing feelings towards his master and tries to avoid being sucked into London's secret sexual maelstrom.show more