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Britain, in 1896, is on the cusp of a new era – in an increasingly globalised and connected world, it leads the way in trade, technology and innovation.

But at the same time, in cities like London, slums, prisons and workhouses betray a terrifying secret - where unsupported working-class single mothers are forced to make devastating choices.

When an infant is discovered dead in the River Thames in the town of Reading, close to London, the police delve into the murky underworld of ‘baby farming’, childcare networks where babies are treated as saleable commodities.

But what the police discover in Reading is even darker – a cold-hearted killer willing to commit multiple murders for money, at the expense of Britain’s most vulnerable.