Set in the late 18th century, this powerful historical novel focuses on the city of Bristol and its connections with the slave trade at a time when the abolitionist movement is gathering momentum in England.
A well-respected Bristol councillor is found murdered and when looking into the case young trainee attorney Richard Stourton discovers that the victim had secret links with the anti-slave trade movement in London. Was this the reason for his untimely death?
Richard sets out to discover who was responsible for the councillor’s murder and his quest takes him first to the drinking dens and brothels of Bristol, then to West Africa and finally the American Colonies, where he learns at first hand the shameful truth about this despicable trade in human misery.
He returns to Bristol, where a Parliamentary by-election is under way. One of the candidates is a leading slave-ship owner.
At the same time, Nancy, a young girl who has been helping Richard find the evidence he seeks, is herself charged with murder.
Her trial takes place at the same time as the by-election and Richard will find himself playing a key role in both.