It is the summer of 1870 in London, and death seems to be everywhere; at least it feels that way to Sherlock Holmes. Almost seventeen now, he cannot shake the blackness that has descended upon him: he has lost his dear father; his mentor, Sigerson Bell, is growing gravely ill; Irene Doyle, the object of his affections, has left for America; his longtime admirer, Beatrice Leckie, has chosen another suitor; and the death of the great Charles Dickens fills the city with an impending sense of doom. And out there somewhere in that darkness, Sherlock''s great enemy, the villainous Malefactor, is spinning his web of evil, planning who knows what. Only one thing can rouse the young detective from the depths of despair: the possibility of justice. Through information gleaned from his brother, Mycroft, Holmes uncovers a new and terrible plot unleashed by his nemesis. Malefactor has infiltrated the British government, employing his nefarious agents, Grimsby and Crew, to help him begin his ascent to complete control. Prepared to do anything to stop this criminal infestation, Sherlock sets out to destroy his rival and bring down him and his henchmen--once and for all. He soon sets off on a twisting trail of death and desperation that eventually leads him to a legendary, abandoned graveyard in the heart of the city. Everything in the brilliant boy''s life changes as death knocks again.... But in this shocking and spine-tingling conclusion to the series, Sherlock Holmes transforms, becoming the immortal master of criminal detection.