1605: With the new King James on the throne, England is still divided between Catholic and Protestant. Ordered to keep watch on well-known Papist Thomas Percy, cousin of the Earl of Northumberland, Marbeck's assignment takes on a greater urgency when rumors reach him of a danger aimed at the King. But with no idea where this threat comes from, and his spymaster's refusal to take it seriously, Marbeck is at a loss. And his efforts to concentrate on affairs of state are complicated by affairs of the heart in the form of Charlotte de Baume. By the time he uncovers the truth, Marbeck has only days to expose the conspirators. The safety of the realm is at stake, but so is Marbeck's own.