In the dark fall of 1665, fifteen-year-old Kenna's sister is murdered. Kenna suspects her sister's husband, but if he is the murderer, Kenna will be next. As she flees her grandfather's Scottish estate to escape him, she finds herself in the clutches of a stranger. Kidnapped and taken to the city of Edinburgh, the stranger locks her inside the gate at the head of Stewart's Close, a long and narrow alleyway in the poorest section of the city (with only one way in or out). The local lawman accuses Kenna of leaving a house stricken with plague, sets a guard at the gate, and ties a white cloth there as a warning that disease has struck and no one may enter or leave the close. Kenna has no money, no friends, no shelter, and no way out. She wants nothing more than to escape and find justice for her murdered sister. But first, she has to survive.