1850 – Harry Probert-Lloyd is a young barrister making a successful career in London when he realises he’s going blind. Forced home from London to rural Cardiganshire, the only path open to him seems to be one he hoped he’d have never take: to become one of the squirearchy.
But Harry has scarcely got his things unpacked when a messenger comes banging on the door. Human remains have been discovered on a neighbouring property.
Harry has a horrible feeling he knows who the bones belong to; and that he’s part of the reason she’s dead.
But the murder took place during the infamous ‘Rebecca’ tollgate riots and, with the whole area caught up in a frenzy of gossip, rumour and fear, the inquest jury brings in a verdict of accidental death. Intimidation by the resurgent influence of the shadowy Rebecca? Harry thinks so.
In the teeth of opposition from all sides, he sets out to find out who killed Margaret Jones. And why.
Needing help, Harry hires John Davies, a young solicitor’s clerk, to be his eyes and, as they pursue their investigation, three names keep cropping up.
Rebecca – Why are the men who dressed as woman and rode out at night so keen to leave Margaret Jones’s death uninvestigated?
Nathaniel Howell – rabble-rousing, equality-before-God espousing minister of the local chapel. Why did he disappear when the riots were at their height? What did he know about Margaret Jones? Is he still alive, or did he, too, end up in an unmarked grave?
And David Thomas. Every time his name is mentioned, Harry steers away from it and John becomes suspicious. Who is David Thomas and why are they not beating a path to his door to ask him what he knows? Exactly what part did Harry himself play in the Rebecca Riots?
Harry and John’s investigations take them as far afield as London and Ipswich where they make an astonishing discovery.
The truth behind Margaret Jones’s death changes everything.