Set in Hobart in the mid 1870s 21 year old Meg Hamilton arrives from England to discover why she has not heard from her grandmother for two years.
After learning from cousins, Rissa and Angus MacGregor that her beloved Grandma Kate is serving a prison sentence for a murder committed twenty-eight years ago, Meg sets out to prove her innocent, and her quest leads her to her grandmother’s old servant, Alice.
From here on this is in a sense a story told within a story in flashbacks as Alice finally reveals to Meg the truth about the night of the murder, and how Kate Cameron, a woman before her time, had become involved in the political struggle to improve conditions for women convicts.
There are still many unanswered questions however, and as Meg puts together the shocking pieces of the puzzle she becomes more vulnerable to evil forces that prevail.
Threaded throughout the narrative is the infatuation of Rissa for a tall dark stranger, the faithfulness of Jeremy a young Scot who falls in love with Meg, and Aunt Katio who remains something of an enigma from start to finish, but around who much of the story hangs.
Finally this story could be summed up as a conflict between the forces of light and darkness, played out in the lives of two young women of the Victorian era, one with a heart for truth and justice and the other with a destructive passion for prestige, property and position.