The year is 1775, a full century after The Dutchman, and Sheriff Pieter Tonneman’s descendants are well established in the now-thriving metropolis of New-York. History is being made in the political turmoil of colonial America, but in New-York murder becomes the focus of everyone’s attention when a savagely decapitated body is discovered. After a long absence, John Tonneman returns from medical studies in London to his native city, now torn between Tories and Patriots as the colonies race headlong into armed rebellion. Resolved to steer clear of politics, the earnest young physician finds himself drawn into the violence by his growing feelings for an adventurous young woman from the Sephardic Jewish community. A second, horrifying murder reveals that there is a killer on the loose with a taste for redheaded women. Hunting the mad killer, Tonneman makes a connection between the dead woman and a plot to assassinate General George Washington. Another woman is murdered and the General barely escapes with his life as John Tonneman pursues a killer and uncovers a conspiracy through the jumbled rush of events that culminate in the momentous July of 1776.