Hunting down highwaymen was not the usual preserve of a Bow Street Runner. As the most resourceful of this elite band of investigators, Matthew Hawkwood was surprised to be assigned the case - even if it did involve the murder and mutilation of a naval courier.
From the squalor of St Giles Rookery, London's notorious den of theives and cutthroats, to the palatial homes of the aristocracy where knights of the realm conduct themselves in a manner unbecoming, Hawkwood relentlessly pursues his quarry. And as the case unfolds, and another body is discovered, the true agenda behind the robbery begins to emerge: the stolen naval dispatch pouch held details of a French plot that, if successful, will send the Royal Navy's entire fleet scurrying to port in terror, leaving Napoleon to rule the waves. With no way of knowing who can be trusted, Hawkwood must engage in a desperate race against time to prevent the successful execution of the Emperor's plot.