'At 28 Disney Vernon is a 'bad lot'. Dying of consumption he has married the clergyman's daughter whom he seduced and asks his estragned brother, Charles, to care for her after his death, especially as she is pregnant. She bears a daughter and Disney disappears. He is feared murdered by William Mostyn, the husband of Disney's one true love who died leaving a son. Disney's wife dies of grief and the story turns to the children's lives, 18 years later, in the 1830s.
'Harry Mostyn and Isabel Vernon meet and fall in love but their relatives prevent the match. Walter Livingston, a one time friend of Disney Vernon, also loves Isabel. He befriends Harry, but determines that he shall never marry Isabel and is entangled in a plot with a mysterious Mr Anderson to ensure the young man's ruin. With the help of his father, his uncle and Isabel, Harry clears himself from their snares.
'Harry's hunt for the solution to Disney Vernon's murder takes him to Sydney in 1834 as aide de camp to Governor Bourke, and thence to New Zealand where he is involved in Maori skirmisheds, political bargaining and romantic tragedy. Once again he follows John Anderson to Europe where all is finally revealed.' (PB)