These are changing times in the nineteenth century England; the railroad is heading North and money barons are moving in buying up land. If that wasn't enough to bring tension between the Ravensfields and the Cheverton-Lambs - two wealthy families in Yorkshire - there are murdered women, a spate of rash hangings, deaths in the mines, compulsory purchase orders ... and there's Guy Cheverton-Lamb, freshly recovered from the Charge of the Light Brigade and Ruth, Edgar Ravensfield's young wife. At the centre of the tension is Edgar Ravensfield's railroad gangmaster, the rough-edged Scotsman, Lom Mckinnie. McKinnie will stay as long as the railroad takes to get to completion - bonuses pay well and there are the women - but there's trouble brewing; the Irish navvies are growing tired of the way they are treated and Mckinnie's philandering isn't confined to the prostitutes. Ludden is a powder keg of a novel. A welcome addition to period fiction.