In Brooklyn in 1899, Dr. Noah Whitestone is called urgently to his wealthy neighbor's house to treat a five-year-old boy with a shocking set of symptoms. When the child dies suddenly later that night, Noah is accused by the boy's regular physician-the powerful and politically connected Dr. Arnold Frias-of prescribing a lethal dose of laudanum. To prove his innocence, Noah must investigate the murder-for it must be murder-and confront the man he is convinced is the real killer. His investigation leads him to a reporter for a muckraking magazine and a beautiful radical editor who are convinced that a secret experimental drug from Germany has caused the death of at least five local children. By degrees, Noah is drawn into a dangerous world of drugs, criminals, and politics, which threatens not only his career but also his life.