Thomas Pitt, mainstay of Her Majesty's Special Branch, is summoned to Connaught Square mansion where the body of a junior diplomat lies huddled in a wheelbarrow. Nearby stands the tenant of the house, the beautiful and notorious Egyptian woman Ayesha Zakhari, who falls under the shadow of suspicion. Pitt's orders are to protect -- at all costs -- the good name of the third person in the garden: senior cabinet minister Saville Ryerson. This distinguished public servant, whispered to be Ayesha's lover, insists that she is as innocent as Pitt himself is. Pitt's journey to uncover the truth takes him from Egyptian cotton fields to the insidious London slum called Seven Dials, to a packed London courtroom where shocking secrets will at last be revealed.