In the fifty years between 1757 and 1815, Britain emerged from the Napoleonic wars as the greatest power the world had ever seen. But at the heart of the Empire’s success lies a secret institution, The Decipherers. These are the trusted agents whose trade carries them into the middle of the deepest conflicts. Among them is young Alistair Douglas. In 1756, a 17-year-old Douglas is sent to Bengal with the East India Company. As he arrives the whole province is thrown into confusion by the rise to power of the new Nawab. Caught between belligerent superiors and the canon fire of the enemy, Douglas is thrown into the midst of intrigues that will decide both his own fate and that of the nation.