After a long period in a mental institution - the result of a traumatic childhood - Spider returns to the streets of the East End of London where he grew up. The sights, sounds and the smells of those streets begin to awaken the deeply buried memories of his childhood. At the centre of these memories is the great trauma of losing his mother, a trauma which occurred, he believes, because his plumber father, Bill Cleg, murdered her in order to move a prostitute into the house in her place. As Spider claws through the falsehoods he has woven around himself, he begins to arrive at the truth about his life and about his mother’s death. The truth, which will take him to the very limits of his faltering sanity.