After his nightmarish adventures in Mary King's Close in Crow Boy, Tom Afflick is drawn back to Edinburgh. At the National Museum of Scotland, he sees the eight tiny coffins that were discovered on Arthur's Seat in 1836 – one of the city's most intriguing mysteries. After a violent confrontation with his stepfather, Tom finds himself spinning back in time again, to the year 1828, where the peril comes not from bubonic plague but from a series of unexplained disappearances. Lost and confused, Tom seeks refuge in Tanner's Close as the guest of two of the city's most infamous inhabitants – But even two hundred years after the events of Crow Boy, he cannot escape the vengeful pursuit of bogus plague doctor, William Mweeny. Tom is soon caught up in a desperate struggle for survival – and the mystery of the tiny coffins is finally solved.