England, 1572. A powder keg of rumour, fanaticism, treachery and dissent. All it would take is a single spark . . .
In the England of Elizabeth I, the fear of plague, invasion and the threat of insurrection are constant.
As the Earl of Leicester's chief intelligencer, lawyer Christopher Radcliff is tasked with investigating rumours of treachery at home and the ever-present papist threat from abroad. With heresy and religious urnest simmering beneath the surface of a country on the brink, Radcliff is under pressure to get results.
And then a whisper of a plot against the queen reaches him. But all his network of agents has to go on is a single word:
Radcliff must find out what it means, and who lies behind it - before it's too late . . .