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London, 1386. A mass murder has taken place within the city walls. Sixteen corpses have been dumped where they are sure to be found, bearing wounds like none seen before.
John Gower, middling poet and expert trader in secrets, is summoned to investigate the killings even as the ruthless mayor of London seeks to thwart an open inquiry for reasons unknown. Gower learns that the men have fallen victim to handgonnes, new and terrifying weapons that threaten to change the future of war.
Challenged by deception and treachery on all sides, Gower struggles against his failing vision even as his inquiries take him from the city’s labyrinthine slums to the port of Calais to the forests of Kent, where his friend Geoffrey Chaucer serves as justice of the peace. As Gower strives to discover the source of the new guns and the identity of those who wielded them, he must risk everything to reveal the truth–and prevent a more devastating massacre on London’s crowded streets. . . .