London, 1880. Lucas Jarmyn struggles to make sense of the death of his beloved youngest daughter; his wife, Aurora, seeks solace in rigid social routines; and eighteen-year-old Dinah seeks fulfilment in unusual places. Only the housekeeper, the estimable Mrs. Logan, seems able to carry on. A train accident in a provincial town on the railway owned by Lucas claims the life of nine-year-old Alice Brinklow, and amid the public outcry, her father Thomas journeys to London demanding justice. As he arrives in the Capital on a frozen January morning, his fate and that of the entire Jarmyn family will hinge on such strange things as an ill-fated visit to a spiritualist, an errant chicken bone and a single vote cast at a boardroom meeting.