London, 1556. Hal Westmecott, one of the city's most feared executioners, reckons Jack Blackjack owes him a favour – and now he's come to collect his dues. Hal has ordered Jack to track down his long-lost son. But when Jack's search draws him to the attention of a ruthless nobleman, a dead priest's vengeful brother and finally to a bloodstained body in a filthy lodging house, he comes to realise he is an unwitting pawn in a mesh of schemes dreamed up by the most powerful people in England. Just who is a friend, who is a foe – and will Jack escape with his life intact?