For the last twenty years Sir James Monmouth has been a gentleman adventurer, journeying all over the globe in the footsteps of his hero, the great pioneering traveller Conrad Vane. One rainy winter night, Sir James returns to London. Orphaned at five, it is now time to find out more about his family and origins, and also to learn about the early years of Conrad Vane. But at every turn James is warned off his investigation into Conrad Vane. Do these warnings explain his flashes of intense fear and feelings of being watched? And what of the boy who has started haunting his every step and the mysterious mirror with its inexplicable reflections? Eventually, Sir James' quest leads him to the old lady of Kittiscar Hall, and deep into a past that binds him to his hero in ways he never could have imagined.