""‘The Last Protector’ is a wonderful, luscious tapestry that shines. Totally mesmerising."
On her death bed Mistress Cromwell, widow of Oliver Cromwell, tasks an old friend to deliver a sealed package to her exiled son, Richard, who at that time was in exile in the Low Countries.
James Marwood is a government agent, working for Joseph Williamson, Under Secretary of State, who in turn has close ties to Lord Arlington, Secretary of State and thence to the King himself. When it is discovered that Richard Cromwell has returned to England in disguise, Marwood is set to find out why.
An old acquaintance, Cat Hakesby, is also involved in the secret in some way. Her father had been one of those who had signed the death warrant for King Charles I and as a child she had played with Richard Cromwell's daughter, Elizabeth. This connection draws her unwillingly into some underhand dealings that Richard Cromwell and certain of the King's advisors are pursuing.
The secret that drives them on is hidden under the Palace of Whitehall and Cat's husband is the Surveyor who holds the key to unlocking its whereabouts.