Iris by Jean Marsh
It is London in the 1950s and early 60s. The gambling clubs, private dining rooms, corrupt politicians and gangsters who run Mayfair as well as the East End had never had it so good . . .
Iris wasn't quite a call girl . . . she never took any money for that. But she didn't mind accepting a white fiver for the cab fare back to the dismal family flat, or little gifts, or champagne in heady and glamorous restaurants. She was living very dangerously, trading in ignorance and beauty - though not without a certain street savvy.
But then she was plunged, with repugnant violence, into a world of seedy manipulation existing beneath the surface of London society. And innocence and ignorance suddenly become outdated luxuries . . .
Acute social observation combines with a tender story of love and innocence in Jean Marsh's powerful novel.
'A delightful London-in-the-Fifties novel' Tim Rice, Daily Telegraph