Thomas Chaloner has forged a living as spy to the Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Clarendon, since the early days of the Restoration. Now, in February 1664, he is aware of an undercurrent of restlessness on the streets of London. The coffee houses are thick with rumours. There is anger at the new laws governing church attendance and a deepening contempt for the loucheness of the court. And there is murder.
The infamous church-smasher Dick Culmer is killed among the tottering, ramshackle buildings of London Bridge and Chaloner's investigations into the death link Culmer to a group of puritan conspirators. Further west, in the opulence of Somerset House and in the Palace of White Hall, Chaloner gradually realises that the ring-leaders of a rebellion are planning an explosive climax to achieve their goals. Desperately racing against time, Chaloner is determined to thwart them - as determined as they are to prevent him revealing their true intentions ...
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