In the southwest edge of the Great Plains in 1886, veteran US Marshal, Ben Corrigan, is on his way to the town of Iron Horse Junction to escort a jailed murderer, Frank Jameson, to Santa Fe in the territory of New Mexico for trial. Frank gun downed the town's deputy sheriff while the deputy attempted to arrest him for killing a cattle buyer in a saloon brawl. For Ben, it should be a routine assignment that he has done many times before. But this time it comes while he is seriously considering retirement from a long, illustrious career that he enjoys as a lawman. His love interest, the widow Rachel Langford wants him to leave his dangerous roving profession and settle down with her. She asks him to consider their future while he gets ready to head to Iron Horse Junction. This leaves Ben in a quandary because there are conflicts that make the decision difficult. He’s not ready to retire, and there are other personal problems with the marital union with Rachel that he must resolve.
Unfortunately, a new untimely dynamic comes into play when Frank Jameson’s two friends break him out jail before Ben arrives. Ben, accompanied by a couple of new young marshals, is tasked with apprehending Frank and his gang. A life-threatening, violent confrontation ensues as the desperados resist capture. During the hot pursuit, Ben finally makes his life-changing decision. However, he must survive his present ordeal to fulfill this promise.
Timothy Brompton is a typical upper-class Victorian man, busy managing the business left to him after his father’s untimely death. Thames Pharmaceuticals has prospered under Brompton’s direction and it is well on the way to becoming one of the preeminent pharmaceutical companies in the land. Much to Brompton’s credit the company is prepared to become the main supplier for an influential apothecary, ensuring the continued prosperity of the business. However, Brompton’s success interferes with the machinations of a sinister underground opiate operation, triggering a dangerous game of cat and mouse between Brompton and the unknown leader of the nefarious drug syndicate.
It starts as an apparent prank—a strange delivery to his home—but soon becomes deadly as more and more people are killed or injured as the mysterious enemy draws ever closer to Brompton. With the help of local constables as well as the forces of Scotland Yard, Brompton sets out to learn who is behind the evil scheme and why he has been targeted. The ensuing journey is filled with peril at every turn, endangering not just Brompton but those close to him, and nearly ending the life of the beautiful Miss Mayfield, a young woman trying to make her way in the world after the deaths of her nearest family members. Will Timothy Brompton manage to get to the bottom of the puzzle before more of his friends and loved ones are killed? Or will he ultimately succumb to the peril himself?