In two months’ time, Otto Von Bismarck – the Prussian Prime Minister – will arrive in London on a diplomatic visit that could prevent all out war with the German Empire. The city is on tenterhooks. Absolutely nothing must go wrong. That’s why it may be risky to give disgraced agent Lazarus Longman the job of smoothing the way for the dignitary’s visit.Given a second chance by his superiors, Lazarus reluctantly finds himself in the company of Mr. Clumps – a steam-powered bodyguard – with a mission that plunges him deep into the filthy bowels of the British capital, where danger lurks around every corner. But timing is rarely convenient. A figure from Lazarus’s past has reappeared and a chance to learn the truth about his biological parents is too hard for him to pass up.And as if the political conspiracies, riots and revolutionist clubs of the Big Smoke weren’t distraction enough, a deranged killer is stalking the gin-soaked slums by night, killing prostitutes and mutilating their corpses. And Lazarus believes that the killings may be connected to his friend; a prominent actor whose erratic behavior and mysterious blackouts could mark him out as a suspect.