""This novel demands your attention and concentration." "
Set in 1648, this novel tells the tale of a conﬂict between two intelligent and committed men. Set against the background of an England where the Royalists have been defeated but Cromwell and Parliament are struggling against dissenters who have discovered that it is possible to challenge authority. Mortimer Shay is a ﬁxer par excellence who ﬂits back and forth across England, Scotland and Ireland in pursuit of protecting the Royalist cause where possible, and his secret network of spies and supporters: the Comptrollerate General for Scrutiny and Survey.
John Thurloe is a young man working for Cromwell but struggling within the hotheads on his own side. He slowly works out the extent of The Comptrollerate General and starts to amass some of the conﬁdential information it has acquired. He is a man of duty but also of compassion. Cromwell is chasing the young Charles Stuart across the country and his brilliant military skills ensure his victory. Charles escapes into exile, leaving Cromwell to deal with the dissidents in his own ranks.