It is the winter of 1670.
Holcroft Blood has entered the employ of the Duke of Buckingham, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom after the king. It is here that his education really begins. With a gift for numbers and decoding ciphers, Holcroft soon proves invaluable to the Duke, but when he's pushed into a betrayal he risks everything for revenge.
His father, Colonel Thomas Blood, has fallen on hard times. A man used to fighting, he lives by his wits and survives by whatever means necessary. When he's asked to commit treason by stealing the crown jewels, he puts himself and his family in a dangerous situation - one that may end at the gallows.
As the machinations of powerful men plot to secure the country's future, both father and son must learn what it is to survive in a more dangerous battlefield than war - the court of King Charles II.
One missed step could prove fatal . . .
Angus Donald was born in 1965 and educated at Marlborough College and Edinburgh University. For over twenty years he was a journalist. He and his wife now live in Kent.