In the far future, Britain is a divided land, ruled by the great families. In the wilderness between the cities lies Heartsease, a grand country estate, now quite empty, but mysteriously well-tended. Reverend Jane Bruce of the Reformed Church of England is sent to bless the house for a family who wish to occupy it. But there′s something her soldier bodyguard isn′t telling her about the house′s past. Booth Hawtrey, cursed to live forever, is investigating the house for the alien masters who have turned him into something not quite human. But why is their concern at once so urgent and so trivial? David Hawtrey, decadent and hedonistic militiaman, has dangerous plans for the house. But are they truly his own? Rebecca Champhert is Booth′s biographer, David′s ex-lover and Jane′s unwilling victim. And it′s up to her to unravel the story of Heartsease, a story that takes in the history of Britain, the gap between life and death, and the future of the human race.