1612: Matthew Edgworth is a man on the margins, a trickster on the inside and the outside of society. But this hardened rogue is shaken by his encounters with the occult and challenged by his dealings with four powerful women, each of whom in very different ways forces him into a journey of radical self-discovery.
Matthew is employed by Viscount Rochester as a spy and a fixer, and to enable his master’s affair with Frances Howard. But a servant with a store of secrets is a dangerous threat. When Frances seems impressed by his unusual skills, Matthew imagines that he can work for them both – until he realises that Frances is as ruthless as he is. But by then he’s trapped in a scandalous intrigue that goes to the heart of the Jacobean court, and he’ll be hanged for murder, unless he can succeed in one final deadly deception.
The Invisible Exchange is a dangerous and darkly humorous view from the Jacobean underworld of one of the great scandals of the Jacobean age: Frances Howard’s affair with Viscount Rochester and the strange murder of Sir Thomas Overbury whilst a prisoner in the Tower of London. The evocation of every layer of London life – from its taverns and brothels, gambling dens and prisons to the grand houses and palaces of the court and the aristocracy – is vivid and compelling.