1831: as England emerges from the post war depression, the country is changing, and the birth pains of the Reform Act bring it to the brink of revolution.
The violent times breed violent acts, both outside and inside the Morland family. Sophie's life is shattered by a hideous crime. Rosamund learns that achieving her dreams brings as much pain as pleasure. Heloise, mourning her beloved James, lets control of Morland Place fall into chaos - Benedict has to flee his home and makes a life amongst the railway pioneers, while Nicholas now has the freedom to indulge the dark side of his nature.
And amongst them all stalks the deadly, invisible threat of cholera.