London, 1655, and Cromwell’s regime is under threat from all sides. Damian Seeker, Captain of Cromwell’s Guard, is all too aware of the danger facing Cromwell. Parliament resents his control of the Army while the Army resents his absolute power.
In the east of the City of London, a group of religious fanatics plots rebellion. In the midst of all this, a stonemason uncovers a perfectly preserved body dressed in the robes of a Dominican friar, bricked up in a wall in the crumbling Black Friars monastery.
Ill-informed rumours and speculation abound, but Seeker instantly recognises the dead man. What he must discover is why he met such a hideous end, and what his connection was to the children who have started to disappear from around the city.
Unravelling these mysteries is challenging enough, and made still harder by the activities of dissenters at home, Royalist plotters abroad and other individuals who are not what they seem…
"Brilliantly woven into a thrilling plot . . . MacLean's characters are subtle and convincing . . . could challenge C.J. Sansom for dominion of historical crime." - Sunday Times
"The best historical crime novel of the year." - Sunday Express
"MacLean achieves the balance of immersing her readers in a time and place without ever making them feel battered over the head by research, while the central mystery is satisfying and plausibly plotted." - Highland News
"A first class, compelling debut for MacLean's new hero." - Crime Review