Ben and Sonja Pulaski return to South Carolina, in spite of death threats from Jeremiah Williamson, owner of Palmetto Haven plantation. Jeremiah hosts his niece, Lydia Binterfield, cast out from Havre de Grace by her half-brother. Lydia is determined to gain control of her new home, joining Jeremiah in his hatred for the Pulaskis. Sonja finally discovers an end to the nightmare gnawing at her soul. Working with the mysterious Argyle Corporation, Ben continues to ship rice and lumber from Georgetown into the Chesapeake Bay, and find a way to defuse Williamson’s anger, while keeping his real purpose secret. Ben and Sonja move through the centers of slavery under Ben’s guise as a slave trader, while secretly smuggling slaves north.