London, 1785. When the body of a former West Indies planter is found outside St Paul's Cathedral, suspicion abounds.
But talk is not only of the man's death. His past brings a tide of fear directly to Harriet Westerman's door where William Geddings, senior footman, knows more than he is prepared to confess. In search of answers, Harriet and her friend, anatomist Gabriel Crowther, reluctantly explore the dark and destructive world of Britain's slave trade. And as Harriet must confront an ugly truth close to home, London's hidden network of slave traders are forced to face the light.
Francis Glass, a former slave, holds the key to their anonymity and no one can be sure what he plans to do with it. When some people will risk everything for their reputation, some acts can never be forgiven.