That night he dreamed in Technicolor. He saw the ochre-skinned,
scantily clad siren in her black, arrowed stockings. And in Morse’s
muddled computer of a mind, that siren took the name of one Joanna
Franks . . . The body of Joanna Franks was found at Duke’s Cut on
the Oxford Canal at about 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 22nd June 1859.
At around 10.15 a.m. on a Saturday morning in 1989 the body of
Chief Inspector Morse – though very much alive – was removed to
Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital. Treatment for a perforated ulcer
was later pronounced successful. As Morse begins his recovery he
comes across an account of the investigation and the trial that
followed Joanna Franks’ death . . . and becomes convinced that the
two men hanged for her murder were innocent . . .