London, 1810. In Vere Street is a house where men assemble to indulge passions for which the age will hang them. A raid on this notorious tavern sees the city gripped with hatred of Mollies, coupled with suspicion of their political sympathies. A few miles away in St James's Palace, the Duke of Cumberland's valet suffers a violent death, which the authorities are anxious to see only as suicide. Caught between these two historical events, the fictional lawyer Wyre is reluctantly drawn into a network of dark alliances that appear to link the raid on the White Swan Tavern, the death at the Palace and the war against France. Leading to a shocking revelation, the novel explores a labyrinthine city of asylums, brothels and secret spaces, in which poets rub shoulders with pimps, and where the only constant is illicit desire.
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