"Once again Imogen Robertson brings the eighteenth century to life..."
Outside St Paul's Cathedral a body is found staked to the ground. On his way home after a night of revelry, Harriet Westerman's black servant, William recognises the man and the extraordinary contraption he is wearing on his head.
This is the start of a journey back to the time when Harriet's husband was alive and into the horrible world of the slave owners and the length to which some of them were prepared to go to keep their slaves under control. There are a few black men living in London, and one of these is Francis Glass, a printer and shop owner. He becomes involved with the family of the Earl of Sussex, with whom Harriet is staying. When the love of his life is found dead in mysterious circumstances he tries to track down the killers. Many of the supporters of the slave owners are living in London and are prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to maintain what they believe are their rights.