Captain Esmond Clyde-Dalton is as shocked as the rest of the village of Markinch when English soldiers arrive to arrest Philomena Clunes and her father Magnus Clunes on charges of treason in the early spring of 1708. Esmond soon learns the truth of the Philomena's entanglement with the Jacobite cause as he is commanded to find a copy of a treasous Jacobite document outlining the Highland Lairds support for James Francis Stuart's first invasion attempt. With Edinburgh on the brink of falling into enemy hands, Esmond desperately enlists the help of old foes from Markinch to keep Queen Anne safely on her throne. Along with new allies Esmond searches through the dangerous back alleys and glorious drawing rooms of Scotland's capital. Esmond's growing fears over whether he has been right to put his faith once again in his old commander is fuelled by the news James Francis Stuart has left the French coast. The old Pretender has eugh French mercenaries and Scottish allies to take Edinburgh and most of the highlands. Esmond will face the ultimate choice, save the woman he loves, or find the identities of the men who would see the fall of the new United Kingdom.