On a quiet Mayfair evening, the peace of Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch's house is shattered when their friend Simon Tanner arrives, rain-drenched and bloody. Simon was attacked and robbed of a package he was bringing to them a manuscript that may be a lost version of Hamlet.
But there's more at stake than literary authenticity. Lord Carfax, head of British intelligence, claims the manuscript conceals the identity of an Englishman who was a Bonapartist spy. And one of the possible suspects is Malcolm's late father. As danger escalates, the Rannochs untangle a mystery that involves Irish rebels, a tragic sixteenth century love affair, Lord Byron, and Marie Antoinette. And both Malcolm and Suzanne have to confront how the past has shaped them and what it means for their future.