Picking up more than two years after the events of The Shadow in the North, the beginning of this book finds Sally Lockhart living a happy – if unconventional – Victorian life. She has a daughter, Harriet, whom she loves, good friends she can count on, and a successful financial consulting business. Then she’s served papers suing her for divorce and custody of their child from a Mr. Parrish – a man she’s never met, let alone married, and who certainly isn’t Harriet’s father. Parrish has a string of airtight evidence to show that they are married, however, and the law is clearly on his side. If Sally wants to keep her daughter, she must slip into the darker side of London, rife with poverty, disease, crime, socialist agitators, and a conspiracy designed to victimize Jewish immigrants, and keep herself and her daughter safe until she can figure out who Parrish is – and what he wants with her.