This absorbing Victorian mystery is peopled by a host of striking characters all seeking their fortune or wrestling with ruin during a topsy-turvy time of change. It moves between the misty Lincolnshire wolds, unsavoury London courts, rakish gents' clubs and affluent Belgravia. What links these disparate worlds is Derby Day and the expectations riding on the champion horse, Tiberius. Tension builds as the horses gallop towards the finishing line.
The rail that stood before Tiberius's stall was half thrown down and the horse stood quivering behind it with his hoofs stamping nervously on the straw .... Mr Happerton's gaze took in the quivering horse, the spilled oil and the raised arm all in a moment. He was horribly afraid - afraid of the blood on the horse's flank, and the terror in his eyes, but a part of him felt also an inexpressible relief .... Tiberius was at any rate not dead.