Welcome to Cornwall, near the turn of the nineteenth century, where an air of celebration pervades. However, even as Admiral Lord Nelson defeats the French fleet in the battle of the Nile, the situation between the recently returned Ross Poldark and George Warleggan is no nearer a conclusion. And things at home aren't much better for Ross, for Demelza is playing a very dangerous game with Lord Falmouth's nephew, Hugh Armitage. A ride on the cliffs, a stroll by the sea, a stolen kiss on the beach. All innocent enough, but how will Ross react when he finds out the truth? He'll possibly react in the same way as to the unwanted advances of that Regency dandy Captain Adderley, and settle the matter with pistols, at dawn. But Hugh Armitage is not long for this world, and by the looks of things, neither is Pascoe's bank, Ross's lifelong supporter. Who could be behind its demise? Who indeed?