1642: Laurence Beaumont has just returned to England after six long years in the European Wars. Fleeing home to escape the responsibilities of his noble birthright, he served as both mercenary and spy, and ended up a cardsharp in a Dutch brothel. The atrocities he witnessed have utterly destroyed his faith in any cause, and shattered his self-respect. As the clashes between King Charles I and his mutinous Parliament escalate towards full civil war, Beaumont is sucked back into violence and intrigue when he discovers coded letters outlining a plot to assassinate the king. Hounded by the conspirators and pressed into service by the Secretary of State’s ruthless spymaster, Beaumont finds himself threatened on all sides, in peril of his life if he makes a single slip. The ravishing Isabella Savage, a practised seductress, offers to help him, but he must beware of her charms. And all the while, Beaumont is haunted by a strange prophecy, and the memory of a love betrayed.