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Inspector Suttle leaves London to pursue his murder investigation. But the city’s dark and troubled shadows follow him to Cadley, the victim’s hometown. In the idyllic surroundings of a great house, mingling with the aristocracy, Suttle discovers that the undead curse of the Restless Plague runs ever deeper...
Suttle drives with Bowes to Buckinghamshire to visit the family of Lord Hinchcliffe, one of the murder victims. His son, the new Lord Hinchcliffe, is not particularly interested in the investigation and rather goes out shooting zombies in the country. He goes on to talk to Hinchcliffe's wife who is upset about the death, but also about the cure itself. The shooting party outside unsettles Suttle and reminds him of the war.
He decides to stay overnight and when he tells Bowes, he meets Lady Celia, Hinchcliffe's daughter. She doesn't mourn her father at all and fought with him over her fight for emancipation of women. She wants to have the right to take the cure, too. Suttle tries to tell her that the cure is not as great as she may think, but she is only concerned that her father's death takes away an important cause for her emancipation movement.
Suttle finds out that Hinchcliffe and his ancestors were part of a secret society called "Sons of Adam". At dinner, a discussion over a new war in the East starts and the guest Lord Falconbridge wonders how wars will be fought without death as the final resolve. Celia starts with her cause but Suttle tells her and everyone again, that he doesn't think the cure is a benefit, but takes away any appetite or hunger, which to him is the point of life.
Lord Falconbridge talks to Suttle in private and tells him, that the government is very interested in getting the case settled without giving the public the idea, that the cure isn't really working. He even indirectly suggests covering it up with false witnesses and evidence but Suttle gets angry at this proposition. He then tells Suttle that Hinchcliffe's son had a motive for killing his father because with the cure, inheritance doesn't work anymore, making young Hinchcliffe forever an heir without any chance to become a lord. Suttle doesn't trust Falconbridge and is instead interested in the "Sons of Adam".