October, 1799. A century is coming to an end, but river policeman Tom Pascoe's work is never done. A new case in London's Docks holds danger not just for Tom but for the nation.
Sailing master Robert Cox cannot pay his gambling debts. But he has information about a ship which has arrived in British waters carrying a precious cargo. Selling that information to one of London's most feared men might be Robert Cox's salvation - or his damnation.
Elsewhere in the warren of streets and waterways, Tom and his assistant Sam Hart are tipped off about a robbery. Their inquiries take them to London's secretive Jewish community, where a dealer admits to being told that a quantity of silk is about to come on the market.
When Robert Cox goes missing and powerful men from London's underworld and beyond begin to hunt for the silk, Tom finds himself investigating not just a crime but a conspiracy that will threaten his life, his family and his country.