1842. Stranded on Deception Island in the South Atlantic, her whaling captain husband lost at sea, Karina is destitute and desperate. Disguised as a cabin boy, she stows away on a British ship. But Karina is about to get a nasty surprise. As she grows closer to ship’s surgeon Joseph Hooker, Karina and the rest of the crew find themselves pushed to the limits both physically and emotionally as conditions worsen onboard. Engulfed in the chillingly hostile Antarctic landscape, something extraordinary happens – and Karina’s story becomes intertwined with some of the 20th century’s bravest Polar explorers.
1951, Brighton. With the war over, Mirabelle Bevan, ex-Secret Service, moves to the seaside to put the past behind her. She takes a job as a secretary at a debt collection agency run by Big Ben McGuigan, but when confronted by the case of Romana Laszlo, a pregnant Hungarian refugee, Mirabelle discovers that her specialist knowledge is vital. With assistance from the pretty insurance clerk, Vesta Churchill, Mirabelle follows a mysterious trail of gold sovereigns, betting scams and bodies to a dark corner of Austerity Britain where forces of evil remain.
1952, London. When 17 year old Rose Bellamy Gore goes missing in a seedy Soho jazz club the prime suspect is black saxophone player, Lindon Claremont, the last person to be seen talking to her. Under suspicion, Lindon heads for Brighton and his childhood friend, Vesta Churchill who works with ex-Secret Service office girl Mirabelle Bevan, now in charge of the McGuigan and McGuigan Debt Collection Agency. When Lindon is taken into custody the two women dive into London's underworld of smoky night clubs, smart cars and lethal cocktails to establish the truth.
1955. When Mirabelle Bevan is rescued from a fire at her home on the Brighton seafront she's lucky to escape unharmed - but the blaze takes the life of her neighbour, Dougie Beaumont, a dashing and successful racing driver living in the flat above. It soon becomes clear that this was arson, raising questions about the young man's death that Mirabelle can't resist investigating further.
Brighton, 1956. Mirabelle's on-off boyfriend, Superintendent Alan McGregor, is taken off a gruesome murder case because the key suspect is an old school friend. Then a wartime hero's body turns up on the Sussex Downs, and she is caught up in a dangerous situation when the dead man turns out to have been a member of a deadly thrillseekers club, related to the earlier murder. Mirabelle is determined to uncover the truth and free the innocent people who are bearing the brunt of the cover up.