In the children's game of Snakes & Ladders, a toss of the dice carries one across the board to either a ladder's base (and a shortcut slide up to the winner's gate) or a snake's head (and a loser's fall from grace back to the bottom). When Scotland Yard creates an enormously complex operation code named "Snakes & Ladders," however, it's hardly a children's game, but one of blackmail, thuggery, fraud... and murder. Scotland Yard's playing board is the calculatedly complex financial empire of Randall Blackett, the London business community's darling and the founder of a conglomerate involving sixty or more companies and producing an enormous payoff that seems a bit fishy - especially to Scotland Yard. The pieces moving on the board are David Rhys-Morgan and Susan Perronet-Conde. David seems always to land on the head of a snake and so descends from accountant to dubious continental tour guide - and from there to destitution and the kingdom of the tramps. Susan, meanwhile, has her foot on ladder after ladder, rising toward the winner's gate: Blackett himself. But the trickiest part of this game comes at the end, where throwing the wrong number lands you on the head of a very nasty snake waiting to send you straight to the bottom. In the finale, which takes place in the deserted acres of London's old dockland and Blackett's luxurious estate, David and Susan experience the chilling truth as they play out the desperate end-game.