October 1854. As an autumnal evening draws to a close, crowds of passengers rush onto the soon to depart London to Brighton Express. A man watches from shadows nearby, grimly satisfied when the train pulls out the station . . . Chaos, fatalities and unbelievable destruction are the scene soon after when the train derails on the last leg of its journey. What led to such devastation, and could it simply be a case of driver error? Detective Inspector Colbeck, dubbed the 'railway detective' thinks not. But digging deep to discover the target of the accident takes time, something Colbeck doesn't have as the killer prepares to strike again . . .