It is November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night, 1930. Bonfires are blazing, rockets burst. In a country lane, revellers discover a car that has been set on fire. At first they assume that this is the work of vandals taking the Guy Fawkes spirit a little too far, then they notice, sitting at the wheel, a body, charred beyond recognition. The initial assumption is that the owner of the car, Mr William Hodge, a successful travelling vacuum cleaner salesman has taken his own life by flooding the car with petrol and lighting a match. The post-mortem, however, reveals that Mr Hodge was either unconscious or dead before the fire was lit. When Tommy Blamire, a local criminal, is charged with the murder, barrister Arthur Skelton believes him to be innocent, so sets out to prove as much and ensure justice is served.