For the prostitutes of Leather Lane, nurse Hester Monk's clinic is a lifeline, especially welcome since lately their ailments have escalated from bruises and fevers to broken bones and knife wounds. At the moment, however, the mysterious death of railway magnate Nolan Baltimore in a sleazy neighborhood brothel overshadows all else. Meanwhile, brilliant P.I. William Monk acquires a new client, a mysterious beauty who asks him to ascertain whether her fiancé, an executive in Nolan Baltimore's thriving railway firm, has become enmeshed in fraudulent practices that could ruin him. As Hester ventures into violent streets to learn who is brutally abusing her patients, Monk journeys into the English countryside, where the sight of tracks stretching into the distance revives memories once stripped from his consciousness by amnesia--as a past almost impossible to bear returns, eerily paralleling a fresh tragedy that has already begun its inexorable unfolding.