Thomas Pitt is now the powerful head of Britain’s Special Branch, and some people fear that he may have been promoted beyond his abilities. His own self-doubt is fueled by rumors of a plot to blow up connections on the Dover-London rail line, on which Austrian duke Alois Habsburg is soon to travel. But why destroy an entire train to kill one obscure Austrian royal? Are the rumors designed to distract police from an even more devastating plot? Meanwhile, in a London sickroom, an old Italian woman is terrified that as she sinks into dementia, she may divulge secrets from her career as a revolutionary spy. And behind the doors of a stately manor, a beautiful young Croatian woman hoards mysteries of her own. Pitt and his clever wife, Charlotte, need these two fascinating women to tell them things they desperately need to know—before death and terror ignite an international catastrophe.