The Reckoning of WM. STARLING, Esq., a Foundling, concerning Monstrous Crimes and Infernal Aspirations, with Perpetrators Named and Shrouded Infamies disclosed to Light of Day, as set down by his Own Hand in this year 1816 London, 1816. The Napoleonic War is over, Romanticism is at its high tide, and the great city is charged with the thrill of scientific discovery and Regency abandon. The nineteen-year-old foundling Will Starling returns from the Continent, having spent five years assisting military surgeon Alec Comrie, and now is helping Comrie build a civilian practice in London's rough Cripplegate area. This means entering into an uneasy alliance with the Doomsday Men: grave robbers who supply surgeons with cadavers for dissection. There are wild rumors about Dionysus Atherton, an old university friend of Comrie's and the brightest of London's emerging surgical stars, whispers of experiments on corpses not quite dead, in a bid to unlock the mystery of death itself. Will works obsessively to ferret out the truth; the investigation twists and turns through brothels and charnel houses and the mansions of Mayfair. From the Trade Paperback edition.