When Nora Tamsin arrives in Australia she finds herself under the guardianship of the terrifying Charles Herrick, known as the Lynx. Everyone around her seems to be obsessed with the search for gold; an obsession so compulsive that it drives people from their homes to destitution, and even to death. Stirling Herrick wants it because his father did; and the Lynx himself seems determined to find it if only to exact some kind of revenge. Caught up in a violent world where life is held cheaply, Nora is both intoxicated by the gold rush climate and overwhelmed by the power of the mighty Lynx. Unable to desist, she becomes involved in his murderous schemes, returning to England, and to Whiteladies House.