1870. Charles Dickens is dead. The final instalment of his last manuscript has vanished. The script was last seen addressed to the publisher whose fortunes depend on it. Since its sudden disappearance the only clue to its whereabouts is a trail of brutal murders. With his livelihood - indeed his life - in jeopardy, Dickens' publisher sets out to unravel the mystery. The trail leads him from bustling West End theatres, through grimy East End backstreets, into the fug of illicit opium dens, as the crime he hopes to solve ensnares him.