Sydney, 1828. All is not well. One of the convict colony's soldiers has been murdered and Governor Ralph Darling is not pleased.
Reluctantly, he turns to Nicodemus Dunne for help. Dunne, a fallen Bow Street Runner now transported to Australia, makes his living as a running patterer, hawking news on the dusty streets. Only he has the detective skills required to chase down the ritual killer and stop the ever-bewildering series of gruesome murders that follow the first.
As he searches, Dunne joins forces with the entrancing seamstress Rachel Dormin and soon discovers that too many people, from the Governor down, have secrets worth killing for.