A magnificent novel that vividly evokes the atmosphere of a seventeenth century English country estate, and the seething intrigue of Rembrandt’s Amsterdam where the population is in the grip of a fever of tulip trading. It is the Summer of 1636. In England botanist John Nightingale hides from his dangerous past at Hawkridge House, deep in the tranquillity of the countryside. In Holland, the population is gripped by a fever of speculation. Fortunes are gambled on the commodity markets, trading in spices, grain and even rare tulips. Blackmailed into leaving Hawkridge to join an elaborate money-making scheme in Amsterdam, a city of frenzied greed and luxury, haunted by the ever-nearer demons of his past, and falling in love with two very different women, John Nightingale must learn quickly the ways of the world.