Hull, 1849: a city in the grip of a cholera outbreak that sees its poorest citizens cut down by the cartload. Into this world of flame and grief comes former soldier Meshach Stone. He's been hired as bodyguard by an academic hunting for the bones of the apostle Simon the Zealot, rumoured to lie somewhere in Lincolnshire. Stone can't see why ancient bones are of interest in a world full of them. Then a woman he briefly loved is killed. As he investigates, he realises that she is one of many and that some deaths cry out for vengeance.