History records that on June 9, 1870, Charles Dickens died of a cerebral haemorrhage. History, however, is wrong. June 9, 1870, is the day on which Emile de la Rue murdered Charles Dickens. During a stay in Genoa in 1844–45, Charles Dickens, an accomplished mesmerist, used his mesmeric abilities to treat a young Englishwoman, Augusta de la Rue, attempting to cure a years' long malady of hers that included facial spasms and phantom-filled dreams. During her trances she revealed to Dickens a truth she had long suppressed the knowledge that her husband murdered a rival so he could have her for himself. Dickens, at that time, was helpless to act on the devastating admission, but twenty-five years later Emile de la Rue shows up in London, and Dickens finally seeks justice. De La Rue cannot let this happen and stops at nothing to keep Dickens from revealing his secret.