Astonishment Hall, a country estate in the Pennines full of extraordinary exhibitions, is truly a place of wonder. But when a valuable exhibit is stolen, it is only the first in a series of unpleasant and seemingly unconnected events. A bell tower is burnt to the ground, trapping a young boy inside, an outbreak of thefts plagues the valley, and a man is violently murdered and left to the crows and the snow.
When his own investigations come to a dead end, the owner of Astonishment Hall sends to London for help. And so Whilbert Stroop journeys north to find the answers to both his own search for a missing glass-worker, and the perplexing events at Astonishment Hall.
Before long, Stroop finds himself embroiled in one man’s terrifying and warped desire for vengeance against ancient wrongs, and another man’s fight for survival.