The chance discovery of a mysterious medieval book with a dark secret captivates the inquisitive mind of Australian scientist Ethan Falkner, drawing him away from his computers and propelling the quiet, unassuming professor headlong into a world of mystery and intrigue.
Enlisting the help of his friend Alex Barton, an idiosyncratic Oxford art conservator, ruffles a few feathers but in her hands the book is skillfully coaxed to reveal the secret that scrivener Sanciere bound up in the volume seven hundred years ago.
But all is not what it seems to be. Why does a Knight of the Realm have an unnatural interest in his book? And why have a Russian oligarchy, a second rate detective agency and the beguiling Susan Travers converged to shape Ethan's destiny?
Ethan wants to trust Susan’s simpatico. It is she who warns that he is in danger; she who understands when his room is ransacked; they’re at her apartment when the armed assailants burst in; and, she’s at the warehouse when the Russians are about to kill him. And, despite a falling out, she turns to him when her apartment is bombed – but can she be trusted? Is there more to the enigmatic Susan than meets the eye?
Exposed to the power of corruption in high places, the ruthlessness of the underworld and the havoc that the fourth estate can wreak, Ethan struggles to sift truth from the lies and reality from subterfuge. He came to London in a quest to understand the provenance of a curious book but in a strange twist of fate staying alive suddenly becomes his main priority.