John Smith is what is known as a ‘placeholder name’, like the American term John
Doe. It is the name bestowed on unidentified corpses, amnesiacs and hospital patients
- which is why the odd young man staked out to die in the remains of a 4,000-year-old
Neolithic Circle on the edge of the Lancashire Fells ends up with it.
His violent allergic reaction to iron and steel causes problems for his rescuers
however, and when he refuses to co-operate with the police, Detective Chief Inspector
Stone washes his hands of him.
So ‘John Smith’ simply disappears - literally.
And that’s when strange things start to happen around the city of Preston.