On Periremunda the populace are rioting. With local forces unable to contain the widespread civil disorder, Commissar Cain and his regiment of Valhallans are called in to help. However, it seems there is more to the rebellion than first appeared and Cain suspects sinister forces at work behind the scenes.
When the commissar is reunited with Inquisitor Amberley Vail it seems his fears are realised. In this the fifth book in the popular Ciaphas Cain series our hero is thrown into a deadly conspiracy that even he might not be able to emerge from alive.