London, June 1860: When an assassination attempt is made on Queen Victoria, and a petty thief is gruesomely murdered moments later - and only a block away - Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field quickly surmises that these crimes are connected to an even more sinister plot. Was Victoria really the assassin's target? Are those closest to the Crown hiding something? And who is the shadowy figure with the coal-black eyes? Soon, Field's investigation exposes a shocking conspiracy in which the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species sets off a string of murders, arson, kidnapping, and he uncovers dark secrets that were meant to remain forever hidden.