London, 1860: When an assassination attempt is made on Queen Victoria, and a thief is gruesomely murdered moments later—and only a block away—Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field surmises that the crimes are connected. Was Victoria really the assassin's target? Or were both crimes part of an even more sinister plot? Field's investigation soon exposes a conspiracy: the publication of Charles Darwin's controversial On the Origin of Species has set off a string of terrible crimes. As Field follows his leads from the dangerous alleyways of London to the hallowed halls of Oxford, the list of possible conspirators grows, and the body count escalates. Pursuing the shadowy madman called the Chorister, Field uncovers secrets that were meant to remain forever hidden.