Treason, heresy and revolt in Queen Elizabeth's England . . .
The year is 1600. With a dying queen on the throne, war raging on the high seas and famine on the rise, England is on the brink of chaos. And in London's dark alleyways, a conspiracy is brewing. In the court's desperate bid to silence it, an innocent man is found guilty - the father of Nicholas Shelby, physician and spy. As Nicholas races against time to save his father, he and his wife Bianca are drawn into the centre of a treacherous plot against the queen.
When one of Shakespeare's boy actors goes missing, and Bianca discovers a disturbing painting that could be a clue, she embarks on her own investigation. Meanwhile, as Nicholas comes closer to unveiling the real conspirator, the men who wish to silence him are multiplying. When he stumbles on a plan to overthrow the state and replace it with a terrifying new order, he may be forced to make a decision between his country and his heart . . .